Thursday, December 10, 2009


Humpday (2009) is a movie about two male friends, both presumably straight, who decide to make a film together for an amateur pornography competition. However, unlike, say, Zach and Miri Make a Porno, Humpday isn't about making a porno so much as talking about making one. And I think that was probably a good choice. In Humpday, the porno, or the idea of it, is not just a porno, but an experience representing autonomy, manhood, and adventure. It's about these two young guys who are starting to settle into distinct paths in life-- one as an aimless hippie traveler, the other as a family man working 9-5. They're so uneasy about this that when the porn contest, Humpfest, is brought up, they jump on it immediately. It's not clear whether there's any attraction between them, but it is clear that they're longing for an out-of-character experience.

It's a common trope-- the quest for an out-of-character experience, and one that happens in real life, too. It's one reason why we sing karaoke, sky dive, or make out with random people in bars. It seems that for some of us, we long to show that what might seem bizarre and out of
character is actually a real part of ourselves that remains hidden most of the time. Whereas people usually view others in a limited or simplified form, we want to be accepted with all our contradictions included.

If you want to watch Humpday yourself and don't want to be told whether or not the porno actually gets made, read no further. I'll wait...

That said, the guys never actually have sex. Believe me, I wasn't thrilled about the prospect of watching them have sex, but in the end, there isn't much resolution to the story. They're in their hotel room, filming, and realize that they just can't do the act. Then the movie ends abruptly. I want to know if this experience will change the characters or their relationship, but we don't find out. One interesting thing about Humpday is that it's the only movie I can think of right now where sex is actually negotiated. The standard on film is for people to just fall into bed together after a few meaningful glances, and it's pretty sad that it takes a movie about two straight dudes in a porno to get people actually talking about sex. When the clothes came off and the guys were just sitting there waiting for some urge to take over, I couldn't help but be reminded of a possible asexual experience-- one of attempting to surmount orientation and get the impetus to jump the bones of someone you're not attracted to in that way.


Becky said...

Ily, this was a really interesting review--thanks. And I'm glad you wet ahead and spoiled it, because it sounds like the last part is the most thought-provoking, from an asexual perspective. Isn't it interesting to discover what is and isn't set in stone about people's sexual orientations? I think many people are afraid to really look in themselves for the honest answer. And they might be surprised what they find, when they're not trying to influence the outcome.

Lucas said...

not sure if your connecting the two, but the only reason sex was actually negotiated was because it was an out of orientation for both the two and there was no "urges" by either party.