Web Watch agrees about what others have pointed out, that Humpday is part of the “mumblecore” film genre that consists of groups of actors talking – mumbling, on occasion – in a quasi-improvised fashion on various topics while a handheld camera bobbles around to make the audience a little queasy. Just like on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, a mumblecore film has a general guideline of where the scene needs to go, but not necessarily a script leading the actors directly from point A to point B. In other words, turn the actors loose and let the cameras roll.
Humpday revolves around two buddies who haven’t seen each other in 10 years. As they are catching up on old times, they hear about Seattle’s infamous HumpFest, a film festival dedicated to showing amateur porn films.
Note: HumpFest takes place this year on October 9, so there is still plenty of time to get your 5 minute submissions in by the deadline. If you decide to participate, extra-credit goes for those films that incorporate any of the following props: a pink slip (layoff or undergarment), Mormon undergarments, motorcycle boots, e-stim unit, and Aplets & Cotlets.
So what should two buddies who haven’t seen each in 10 years, hopped up on some good pot and scotch, do? They decide that the best way to win an amateur porn film contest is to make the one amateur porn film that nobody would expect anyone to make: two straight guys doing it.
Yes, it appears that the film is a slightly skewed version of Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno, but with dudes. And quite a bit more dialogue-heavy. Humpday is billed as a comedy, but there are only so many improved jokes that are going to really work well. For Web Watch, many of the jokes seemed to fall flat. But we give the filmmakers credit for trying.
In essence, Humpday is a film version of a common question Web Watch has heard in bars across the country: “Would one dude kiss another dude for a million dollars?” While in a bar the answer is usually, “for a million dollars? hell yeah…”, Humpday takes a more realistic approach when the best buddies have to get down to the performance part of the film. It seems things get more complicated when it’s not just bar talk and a hypothetical million dollar paycheck.
Compared to the numerous favorable reviews Humpday has received since its Sundance debut, this may be a case where Web Watch is just not as much of a fan of this genre as others are. As with all movies, YMMV.