There’re so many buzzes in the gay community right now that we feel like we’re in the middle of a raging tea dance. Sure, the buzzes surrounding both Brüno and Humpday might be dividing the gay community, but the dialogs the two films encourage keep our struggles in the spotlight. Thankfully, our makeup is always stage-ready.
While Sacha Baron Cohen’s sophomore film is sure to be seen and dissected by large audiences gay and straight alike, the smaller, more intimate Humpday might be a more gay-friendly film, though it’s not without its own detractors accusing it of homophobia.
We like to stick our noses into these kinds of battles (among other things), and decided to see for ourselves. Well, to be completely honest, we decided we had to watch Humpday the second we learned its premise: two straight guys decide to make gay porn.
While the acting and directing are effortless and give the film a documentary feel, there is one implausibility we couldn’t avoid: Ben and Andrew (skillfully played by Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard, respectively) rests their hope of creating an artful amateur film based on a premise they believe to be unique – that straight guys don’t make gay porn.
As industry-respected aficionados of this niche genre, we’re warmly aware that there are enough straight guys making gay-for-pay adult films to keep our office productivity at shockingly-low levels. Then again, our minds haven’t a clue what hetero dudes are aware of, so it’s possible the two characters wouldn’t have a clue that the heavenly idea already exists, plentifully, on video.
Throughout the film, the audience follows the bromancers on their quest to see their landmark idea of boffing each other in the name of art. Ben’s beard, Anna (portrayed uncompromisingly by Alycia Delmore), adds to the picture’s drama, but doesn’t take away from the true relationship explored in Humpday – that of two straight guys who share a deeply-rooted love.
Other than a brief moment when the guys annoyingly claim the obvious (“it’s beyond gay”) Humpday is refreshing, smart cinema.
And as for the homophobic claims? Not so much. The film open-mindedly explores sexuality issues, perhaps even making the case that it’s OK for straight guys to share intimacy; something we gays already know, and probably have even celebrated while paying by the minute.
Humpday is playing now in New York and Seattle, other cities soon