Humpday ★★★½

HUMPDAY is a film that questions the concepts of friendship, love, relationship and sexuality. It deconstructs normative boundaries, between which in turn the boundaries of intimacy run. Lynn Shelton's film shows how completely artificial, archaic, anachronistic and conservative moral concepts underpin our social expression of these terms. On the other hand, it also makes clear where the challenges of a liberal "You do you" society lie.

Freedom is a nest that has obviously been made especially for egoism. And it is imperative that we counter this with open communication. Similarly, freedom is not to be equated with boundlessness. Bounds are not necessarily restrictive. Instead, they determine completely individual feel-good bubbles. And to perceive these bubbles in the face of others defines the concept of respect.

HUMPDAY works as broadly as I have put on these meandering explanations. The semi-improvised dialogues – and not least of all Mumblecore luminary Mark Duplass – help the film achieve a captivating authenticity. But at some point it is no longer enough to simply strive for that. The film increasingly loses momentum, abandons its initial coherence and begins to fray. In the end, a higher goal being worked towards is missing.


(watched as part of the 6th Annual Letterboxd Season Challenge: 2020-21 - Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award Week)