Combustible Celluloid
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With: Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore, Lynn Shelton, Trina Willard
Written by: Lynn Shelton
Directed by: Lynn Shelton
MPAA Rating: R for some strong sexual content, pervasive language and a scene of drug use
Running Time: 94
Date: 01/16/2009

Humpday (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Buddy System

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Lynn Shelton's "mumblecore" comedy starts a high-concept idea: two old friends, both straight, get wasted at a party and agree to make a gay porn video to enter into a contest. In the cold light of morning, they somehow decide to go through with it. Writer/director Mark Duplass (The Puffy Chair) plays Ben, the grounded one who is married, while Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project) plays Andrew, the footloose, spur-of-the-moment one. Alycia Delmore plays Ben's incredulous wife. You can just smell how badly this idea would play as a mainstream Hollywood movie, and Shelton's low-fi treatment helps soften it, but too many overcooked moments still seep through, and they can be squirm-inducing. The performances, however, are admirably naturalistic, even if the motivations aren't.

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