Humpday was a film by Lynn Shelton about two old college friends. Ben (Mark Duplass) is married to a wife he loves, and the two are attempting to have kids. Everything gets thrown up in the air when Andy (Joshua Leonard), Ben’s old friend from school shows up on his doorstep at two in the morning. Ben is an artist, he travels, and lives a very “Kerouac-esque” life. After a drunken dinner party and subsequent night (while Ben’s wife sits at home with cold pork chops) the two entertain an idea that two straight guys having sex would be a perfect addition to Humpfest, a porn competition. This becomes a sort of macho challenge between the two old friends, each maintaining his commitment to this idea and each trying simultaneously to let the other know that its “okay” to back out. Eventually, Ben must tell his wife what his plans for Andy’s “art project” are, and things just go downhill from there. Deadset on facing the thing that makes both men most uncomfortable, simply to prove themselves, the situation is unmistakably funny yet also telling.
With mostly unscripted dialgoue, the director says “the writing happened in the editing room”. Throughout the filming, neither the director nor the characters knew if both men were going to eventually follow through and enter the competition. This style of filming lent an air of sponteneity and realism that adds a lot to the film, with original dialogue such as “You know, you aren’t as Kerouac as you think you are, and I’m not as white-picket-fence as you think I am. These black and whites!” The film was shot in order, and over the course of ten days and was built entirely around the actors. It raised a certain philosophical question: should you do what scares you most, or makes you least comfortable, just for the sake of doing it? A funny, light comedy. Not ground-breaking or exceptional, but good.