Has Been (learn more)
2009 (click here to see all competition films from this year)
Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore, Lynn Shelton, Trina Willard
Lynn Shelton, Lynn Shelton, Lynn Shelton, Jennifer Maas, Steven Schardt, Ben Kasulke, Nat Sanders, Jasminka Vukcevic, Vinny Smith
It's been a decade since Ben and Andrew were the bad boys of their college campus. Ben has settled down and found a job, wife, and home. Andrew took the alternate route as a vagabond artist, skipping the globe from Chiapas to Cambodia. When Andrew shows up, unannounced, on Ben's doorstep, they easily fall back into their old dynamic of heterosexual one-upmanship. After a night of perfunctory carousing, the two find themselves locked in a mutual dare: to enter an amateur porn contest. But what kind of boundary-breaking porn can two dudes make? After the booze and big talk run out, only one idea remains they will have sex together on camera. It's not gay; it's beyond gay. It's not porn; it's an art project. But how will it work? And more importantly, who will tell Anna, Ben's wife? Judging by writer and director Lynn Shelton, it takes a talented woman to unearth the biggest ironies in the male ego. Humpday is a buddy movie gone wild. Shelton expertly mines this clever construct for every possible comedic and irreverent moment. The three lead actors deliver fine-tuned performances amidst postmodern patter and tight, crisp storytelling. Shelton's command of her craft shines brightest when our two gentlemen finally get down to the task at hand: creating a classic wriggle in your seat moment of truth.
John Cooper (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)