by Jim Ridley
Humpday, arguably the hit of this year's Sundance film festival and one of the summer's sleeper successes, opens tonight at The Belcourt. As part of its "Best of Sundance" series, the theater offers a free reception at 6:30 p.m. tonight before the movie with associate producer and soundtrack contributor Ted Speaker. There'll be snacks from Cabana, Fido, Midtown Café, Sunset Grill and Tin Angel and a selection of wine from Village Wines.
From this week's Scene review:
True situation comedy may be the hardest kind to pull off, because it's the least reliant on obvious cues like punch lines or pratfalls. But when done properly--as in writer-director Lynn Shelton's sharply observed indie hit--it can keep you laughing even when nothing overtly funny seems to be happening. Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard play old friends who've grown apart as Duplass has settled into married life and Leonard has clung to his On the Road self-image. Reunited and nagged by worries that they've lost their old edge, the buddies notch up their rivalry until they've committed to a colossally misguided show of daring--starring together in an amateur gay porn film.
What could have been a predictable gross-out farce instead takes one unexpected turn after another, as the characters respond believably to their unbelievable predicament--and that includes everything after the brosephs enter the hotel room they've rented for their moment of truth. Duplass, last seen in the NaFF selection True Adolescents, and The Blair Witch Project's Leonard have spry comic chemistry. But the performer who steals her every scene is Alycia Delmore as Duplass' wife, who descends the rungs of cold fury with hilarious tight-lipped concealment. Never have the phrases "You're right" and "I shouldn't get mad" sounded more like preludes to Armageddon.