Humpday (15)

Lynn Shelton (94 mins), starring Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore
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The Independent Culture

Forget the buddy movie and the "bromance", this wryly provocative comedy takes man-love to a place of palm-sweating uncertainty.

It begins with the reunion of two college friends: Ben (Mark Duplass), settled and married, did not expect his footloose pal Andrew (Joshua Leonard) to pitch up on his doorstep late one night, but they soon rediscover their old bond. At a wild swingers party, where the talk is of a local porn event, Humpfest, Ben and Andrew decide, almost on a dare, that they will make a groundbreaking film – two straight guys having sex together.

"It's beyond gay!" It may also go beyond the understanding of Ben's wife, Anna (Alycia Delmore). It is one thing for the writer-director Lynn Shelton to get truthful performances from her two leads; it is another to be so piercingly acute about male bonding and heterosexual dread. Two scenes stand out, the first when Andrew accidentally lets slip their plan to Anna, the second when the filmmaking pair rendez-vous in a motel room and prepare to... whatever. Beware: the man hug will never feel quite the same again.