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How far can you pull a bromance?

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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