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October 21, 2017

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Two straight dudes bonin’.”

You’d hardly expect to see Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson in a movie making out with each other or discussing the logistics of filming themselves having sex, but most of what else goes in the acclaimed indie comedy Humpday (already a big hit at Sundance and Cannes) is sort of the low-key version of one of those bro comedies from the Apatow/Stiller overlapping band of filmmakers. Writer-director Shelton crafts a ramshackle story about old buddies Ben (Duplass) and Andrew (Leonard, who has a very Wilsonian drawl), reunited after years apart, who concoct a drunken plan to enter an amateur porn festival with a movie featuring, in their words, “two straight dudes bonin’.”

CineVegas 2009

Three stars
Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore.
Directed by Lynn Shelton
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Exactly why they want to do this is never quite clear, but it soon becomes a matter of pride, to prove that Ben hasn’t turned into a suburban prude, and that Andrew really is the daring bohemian he fancies himself. Despite the low-fi aesthetic and naturalistic dialogue, most of the movie plays like a more relaxed version of something like I Love You, Man or The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but not really in a bad way. It’s funny and sweet and curious about the nature of dude friendship, although Shelton, like her characters, equivocates a little too much about the eventual outcome of the story. If it were Rudd and Wilson, things would be a little tidier—and maybe a little more satisfying.

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