by Sawyer J. Lahr
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Lynn Shelton directs her first mumblecore movie in the style of the movement delving deeper into love and lies between twenty-to-thirty-somethings who live in a world of perpetual nights and weekends.
Palm-sweating tension and uncomfortable silences are a result of fine-tuned improvisation that the Seattle-NYC-Chicago-based filmmakers have been practicing since their 2005 meeting at SXSW Film Festival. In keeping with the sexual frankness and glorified mundane, typical of mumblecore, Lyn Shelton directs Mark Duplass (Puffy Chair) as a sensitive straight guy who admits to his childhood gay fantasy Mark Duplass (Puffy Chair). Alycia Delmore as Anna, Ben’s wife plays a headstrong 21st Century woman whose wisdom and directness speaks volumes about marriage and relationships with as much candidness as this year’s Away We Go.
Ben (Mark Duplass) and wife Anna (Alycia Delmore) are interrupted one night when Ben’s old friend Andrew returns from Mexico to tackle his next failed pursuit. Ben parties with some of Andrew’s new free-lovin’ mary jane-smoking friends living in a co-op/frat house style home marked with a sign reading Dionysus. After a night with the dionysians, the couple’s baby-making is put on hold and their marital stagnation ends at the point Ben starts questioning his role as husband and father.
To work out the experimental juices, he follows through on a drunken dare to make an “art porn film” with his old friend Andrew; their tag line: “Straight balling. Beyond gay.” These few words sum up the bromance between Ben and Andrew, which accomplishes more than the pansy puns in I Love You Man. Humpday just goes to show the unsatisfied need for straight guys to bond, but who knew it would take making porn to prove as much?
Sawyer J. Lahr is Chief Editor of the forthcoming online publication, Go Over the Rainbow. He also writes a monthly film column for Mindful Metropolis, a conscious living magazine in Chicago, IL.
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