The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

How far can you pull a bromance?

with 10 comments

Ben and Andrew are old friends, but have drifted apart over the last few years. While Andrew still spends his time travelling the world, engaging with artists, women and drugs, Ben has married, bought a house and is planning to become a father.

One late night Andrew turns up unexpectedly at Ben’s place. This is the beginning of a revival of their old bromance. This relationship is brought to a new place when they under the influence of too much booze come up with the idea to make a film where they’re having sex with each other – despite the fact that they’re both straight. This film would be their contribution to a local amateur art film festival with porn theme.

This is the setup of Humpday, a little lowbudget mumblecore indie style comedy, which I recently watched.

I was a little bit suspicious as I studied the cover. The plot as well as the image, showing two half naked men staring awkwardly at each other, suggested to me that I could expect something rather homophobic, containing a ton of sex jokes that would make me roll my eyes rather than laugh. I probably wouldn’t have considered watching it if it wasn’t for the mentioning of the Sundance festival and the fact that I had a vague recollection of it being mentioned in a positive way in the Filmspotting podcast.

For once I’m not going to keep you on a hold, but head straight for the verdict. This was a funny movie, the funniest film I’ve seen for a very long time. My daughter threw questioning glances at me as I watched the film, wondering what could bring me to that point. Everyone close to me knows how hard it is to bring me to laugh at a comedy. I don’t lack humor completely, but I’m very picky. Hearing me laughing at loud at a movie is a very rare thing, but here I was, doing exactly this.

A serious comedy
I loved Humpday for the way it explored male homophobia and friendship without becoming homophobic in itself for a second. I loved it for its fantastic conversation, which sounds believable and natural all the way through. I loved it because while irresistibly funny, it’s so much more than just a comedy.

Beneath all the awkwardness and absurd situations that made me laugh so hard, there is also a serious story that is told. This is a film about the nature of bonding and about finding balance and your own identity as you’re making the transition from young adult to adult. It could so easily have fallen into a sickening overdose of political correctness or – more likely – into a predicable soup of worn-out clichés. But it never does, not for a second.

It’s a tricky thing to recommend comedies to someone else, since humor is such a personal thing. What’s hilarious for one person is just annoying for someone else.

But speaking for myself I fell in love with this and I can’t wait to see Lynn Shelton’s next film.

Humpday (Lynn Shelton, US, 2009) My rating: 4,5/5

Written by Jessica

July 11, 2012 at 1:00 am

Posted in Humpday

10 Responses

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  1. I haven’t heard of this one before, but from your description, I’d like it. It looks like it’s on Amazon streaming, so I might give it a shot there.

    • That makes me really excited to hear! As a blogger I love when I help spreading the word about a small, unheard of movie, leading to that someone else discovers it.


      July 11, 2012 at 7:45 am

  2. I haven’t heard of this one but it sounds nice, fun and very me.

    I just get shivers when I hear the word MUMBLECORE… I am the anti Hipster

    • Ouch. This IS mumblecore. A lot of impro. But it’s so fun! Maybe this will be what makes you turn over. 🙂


      July 11, 2012 at 11:02 am

  3. Nice one Jessica. I had never even heard of this but it seems like an interesting little film. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

    Mark Walker

    July 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    • I doubt that it’s been shown at any larger extent outside of film festivals. But it shouldn’t be impossible to find it on DVD. I spotted it at my library.


      July 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

  4. Great post 🙂 You know, I tend to be very picky as well when it comes to comedies, so maybe I’ll enjoy this one like you did.


    July 13, 2012 at 3:49 am

    • Thanks Fernando. I really thought this was a little gem and I hope you’ll enjoy it as well if you can find it. It’s out on DVD.


      July 13, 2012 at 7:01 am

  5. I liked this movie too.

    It’s the second time I see this post and both times I’m thinking that it’s a movie about Paul McCartney, seeing he picture you put up there 🙂


    July 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    • Paul McCartney? Has he grown such a beard recently? Tbh I haven’t kept up with his appearance. In my mind he looks like he did in the 60s…


      July 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

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