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It's been a decade since Ben (Duplass) and Andrew (Leonard)
were college bad boys. Ben is living contently with a good job and a great wife, until his old buddy Andrew shows up on his doorstep late one night. Andrew, who lives as a vagabond artist, invites Ben out to a wild party. Excessive drinking
combined with the irrational need to oneup each other, leads to a mutual dare that locks them into entering an
amateur porn contest together.
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Top Customer Reviews
From the trailer and description, I thought this was going to be a movie about two guys trying to make a pornographic film. I was pleasantly surprised to discover this was wrong, in fact there isn't any nudity, and the film is not at all about pornography.
Ben is a seemingly normal nice guy newly married to the lovely Anna. One normal middle class night, they are awoken by Ben's college friend, the Bohemian Andrew. Andrew represents the life that Ben secretly still wants no responsibilities; do whatever he wants with whoever he wants whenever he wants. The first half of the film was all about tempting Ben away from a normal middle class married life.
This film is full of surprises and discovery. The first half was nicely paced and I could see the conflict Ben was feeling. Andrew was light and breezy; he was a crazy fun mad man from college. As the second act played out, Ben became annoying, overanalyzing everything; and Andrew slipped into a more normal melodramatic character. Anna rose up as a very strong wonderful character, who changed as a result of the dramatic conflict she felt as she uncovered Ben's lies.
The part that I find amazing about this film is that there was virtually no script. According to the making of featurette, the actors improvised the entire film. The fact that the film was coherent and played so well dramatically is a big credit to the director and actors. The annoying part of the film was the whole question of will they or won't they? In the very last act, that question was asked way too many times.
This is an extremely low budget film. It appears to be a labor of love for the director Lynn Shelton. From my perspective, I think this film was less about relationships with the same gender, but more about being honest and envying what others have.
After watching the making of featurettte, it is amazing that this film holds together as well as it does. The production qualities are pretty good.
The film is rated R due to the subject matter and strong language. I don't recall any nudity in the film. And there certainly is no violence. For a parent that knows their child well, this film could be viewed by slightly younger viewers than the R rating says.
The DVD is full of some excellent special features. I very rarely think that the deleted scenes should be included in the film. However, I think each of those scenes were better than what ended up in the film. The making of featurette is a must watch film. The context of how and why this film was made is excellent.
This is not a film for everyone. I enjoyed it very much. If Lynn Shelton had cut out a few of the "should we" or "shouldn't we" moments and added the deleted scenes, I would have enjoyed the film more. For me, this was a thought provoking film.
Also this art-producer had got some same-gender experience already, not much happened further besides wasting money for renting a hotel room to discuss opportunities possible in-between them,
If this work was about fashionably broadening the boundaries of sexuality, there is a really strong need for a couple of extra one-and-a-half-hour-parts to rich this goal.
After first seeing Duplass in "The Puffy Chair," a film that he and his brother wrote, produced, and in which they starred, I was certain that the entertainment world would be saving a seat for this talented, new actor. Turns out I was right as Mark Duplass has been in numerous movies since then, as well as starring in an FX series, "The League."
Mark Duplass scores again, this time in "Humpday," a type of film project (similar to "The Puffy Chair") that employs improvisational, or naturalistic, dialogue. Films in this genre, sometimes referred to as "mumblecore," are aptly named, since the actors who appear in them often seem incapable of engaging in audible, intelligible dialogue, resorting, instead, to a sort of mumblespeak.
Fortunately, no mumble-speak messiness emerges in this film. Besides possessing the ability to communicate effectively, Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard make improv seem effortless -- almost as though they are acting; paradoxical, isn't it?
Despite the implausible premise of the film, it has its genuinely hilarious, as well as dramatic, moments as the two friends (Duplass' and Leonard's characters) try to bring their idea of an unconventional art project to life. Their objective? To enter their "art" in the Humpday Festival, an annual event that attracts "Adult" content.
If the film has one flaw, it is the provocative plot and the turn of events that leads to a rather shallow resolution. This denouement, so to speak, may leave some viewers feeling dissatisfied or let down. Nonetheless, it's an entertaining ride watching Duplass and his co-stars adroitly circumvent any humps and bumps along the way in favor of delivering original, largely ad-libbed humor, convincing conversational scenes, and adept acting, minus the script.
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