This is undoubtedly one of the most insightful films ever made about friendship between straight males. Though it has a rather high concept hook, Humpday is far from gimmicky, instead opting to explore its characters’ relationships in a loose, naturalistic way. Director Lynn Shelton – whose latest film, Your Sister’s Sister, also explores unusual dynamics of friendship and sex – crafts a coherent, thoughtful and very funny film out of directed improvisations centering around a doozy of a “will they or won’t they” proposition.
Humpday is endearingly honest right from the start, as it opens with a scene that should be familiar to anyone who’s ever been in a long-term relationship, especially one that involves living with a partner. Ben (Mark Duplass) and his wife, Anna (Alycia Delmore), lie in bed together, each half-heartedly trying to initiate sex before they both admit, with a sense of relief, that they’re too tired. They are awakened a few hours later by the late-night arrival of Ben’s old college buddy, Andrew (Joshua Leonard, best known as “Joshua Leonard” in The Blair Witch Project), who has continued to live the freewheeling life he and Ben shared in their college days. As the two rekindle their friendship, they discover that each has a certain degree of envy for the other’s life, despite the fact that they wouldn’t actually want to trade places.
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I might know something about the music scene in Denver since I do PR for musical acts, and I feel like I’ve represented more artists from that city than from anywhere else to date. The talent there is just amazing, but I’m not sure why. Do the mountains and beautiful scenery inspire people to write great music? But it’s not just that…it’s the singers, too. Anyway, last night on “American Idol” that Rocky Mountain talent was on display for all the world to see, and 26 contestants in all made it to Hollywood. What I’m saying is, I’m not surprised by that count.
This time around, Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, was the fourth judge again, and Ryan Seacrest went on for a few minutes about this being the city where Chris Daughtry auditioned in 2005. They sure do like to milk that stuff. Anyway, here were the best and worst from Denver that they showed…
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While those who follow comedy continue to speculate about Ron White’s mysterious absence from Comedy Central’s recent roast of White’s Blue Collar touring mate Larry the Cable Guy – some suspect it was due to his arrest for marijuana possession last September, though drug use hasn’t stopped the network from inviting Gary Busey, Andy Dick or Courtney Love to participate – his latest concert special, “Behavioral Problems,” provides at least an unofficial answer to that question. Simply put, White is playing a competely different sport than the other three, and this routine, recorded in Seattle, is as funny as anything White has served up to date. His arrest even serves as fodder for his act (“This was Florida; these cops drove by three meth labs and a dead hooker just to get there”), as well as a lawsuit he was served by a pungent paper company in Houston (“two million people could smell this plant. If it were music, and two million people could hear it, they’d tell ’em to turn it the fuck off”). The funniest moments come when he messes up his routine, causing White to riff and even poke fun at the lack of funny in some of his punch lines. His material leans a bit more on sex this time around, but his gift for storytelling saves even the most obvious of his jokes. The DVD also contains three bits excised from the final concert (all of which are as funny as what made the final cut), and one bit of White telling stories at a bar after the show. Twenty-some years after his stand-up debut, White seems to just be getting warmed up.
Click to buy “Ron White: Behavioral Problems”