Humpday opens with a pair of breeders in bed. A youngish married couple, Ben (mumblecordeon Mark Duplass) and Anna (Alycia Delmore), confess that theyre too tired to procreate that night. As if in response, the doorbell rings at 2 a.m., and Bens long-lost college buddy, Andrew (Blair Witch Project survivor Joshua Leonard), stumbles in from deepest Mexico. Anna watches the unexpected bromantic action with grim incredulity. Reuniting an uptight married man with a footloose old pal, Lynn Sheltons third feature offers a (much) more extreme version of Kelly Reichardts Old Joy, also a sort of buddy movie, also shot in the Pacific Northwest. In this case, the lost weekend is steeped in sexual anxiety. Prompted by news of an amateur porn festival sponsored by a local alt-weekly Ben finds himself proposing to co-star with show-off Andrew in a mad art project, dude-on-dude action, totally straight, yet somewhere beyond gay. The only problem: Just who is going to bone whom? Having thus invested its protagonists in a game of chicken, Humpday delivers some excellent situation comedy, but the movie is actually less a queer comedy than a satiric view of macho. Appreciative as Shelton may be of her dudes, she has another agenda. Each in his way, the guys have been freaked by a manifestation of assertive female sexuality. As for what happens? Dont ask, I wont tell. Suffice it to say that, last seen beating their midriffs like apes, Ben and Andrew confront the fear but not the desire.
Tue., Sept. 8, 6 p.m., 2009