One of the year's unexpected indie hits, Humpday opens with Ben ("mumblecore" director Mark Duplass) and Anna (an engaging, relatable Alycia Delmore), a stable young married couple trying to conceive their first child, awakened in the middle of the night by the unexpected arrival of Ben's would-be-Kerouac college buddy Andrew (The Blair Witch Project's Joshua Leonard). The next night, during a late-night bacchanalia with some of Andrew's sexually adventurous friends (including a funny, no-nonsense Lynn Shelton in a sharp supporting turn), Ben and Andrew hatch a plan to film themselves having sex (with each other) as an entry in an amateur porn contest sponsored by Seattle weekly The Stranger.
Director Lynn Shelton (who's also helming $5 Cover: Seattle) mines the subsequent 'will they or won't they?' plotline for plenty of tension and comedy, but this high-concept film is not the indie mash-up of Zack and Miri Make a Porno and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry that the premise suggests. It's ultimately more genuine, more realistic, and even more daring than its pitch-meeting description. The portrait of modern middle-class marriage is particularly affecting, but what Shelton is really aiming at here is a gentle satire of masculine discomfort — Ben and Andrew's respective awkward sexual encounters with the opposite gender perhaps more telling than the outcome of the bromantic collision course they've set themselves on.