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Movies: It's a Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay Weekend



Nathaniel Rogers would live inside a movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience.

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When it rains, it pours. After months of gay-free movies, this weekend is curiously homo-saturated: Outfest began in Los Angeles, QFest began in Philadelphia and at least three of the week's new releases are touched by the gay.  I Love You, Beth Cooper, a new high school "comedy" -- that's in quotes because it sure ain't funny -- has a totally obnoxious running gag about whether or not the hero's best friend is gay. And the weekend has two highly discussable homo-adjacent movies. The big wide hyped release is of course Brüno, Sacha Baron Cohen's satire of homophobia or Sacha Baron Cohen's gay minstrel act depending on where your sense of humor lies. Brüno's gotten a lot of play here at Towleroad, with presumably more to come. Also worthy of discussion is the micro-indie Humpday, the story of straight best friends who decide to have sex for an "art project".

MORE after the jump

The art project in question is "Hump Fest", an annual amateur porn contest with delusions (?) of artistry. Ben (Mark Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua Leonard), old college friends, end up stoned at a rather bohemian party early in the film. Under the influence and giddy from their reunion (they were once close but haven't seen each other in many years), they dare each other into a commitment to have sex on camera. The rest of the movie details the countdown to this event and how it affects their friendship and Ben's marriage. Humpday's homo-squirmishness (both men are straight) fortunately avoids the typical homophobic pandering most movies lean toward when grazing the subject of gay sex or love and the movie is often quite funny. Not everyone who gives the movie a chance will be satisfied by the anti-climactic wrap-up, but the movies strength is in its ambiguity and the accumulation of details. This juvenile sexual dare illuminates everything from male friendship and rivalry to lifestyle and identity choices (not simply gay or straight, the movie is more expansive than that) and the capacity and limits of intimacy in friendship and marriage. Good movie. Here's the trailer.

Bonus Scenes

Picture 2 road It's the first photo from Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, a roller derby comedy called Whip It! . Ellen Page (Juno) is the lead but the supporting cast includes fantastic faces like Kristen Wiig, Marcia Gay Harden, Eve and Juliette Lewis playing characters with names like "Malice in Wonderland", "Dinah Might" and "Smashley Simpson" (the latter is Drew's character. Love the rainbow socks, Drew). We hope it's as fun as it sounds.

 road Hmmm. What would Oprah Winfrey's Netflix queue look like?

 road A "conversation" between Megan Fox and Cate Blanchett.

Picture 8  road Is this new poster for the Jim Carrey / Ewan McGregor prison romance I Love You Philip Morris, hiding its gay content? Stale Popcorn thinks so even if "...the yellow is a bit fruity"

 road Out actor Tom Lenk ("Andrew" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), whose next film role is in Joss Whedon's horror flick Cabin in the Woods, did a hilarious "Last Minute Show" at Don't Tell Mama's in NYC last night. He kicked things off singing Britney's "Gimme More" (here's the same number from an earlier show) and got big laughs reading from men seeking men ads and recounting a failed relationship with a young Buffy fan. The humor leaned heavily towards the self-deprecating.

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  1. What "ambiguity"? It's a phenomenally stupid movie made by a woman who has no idea of what men do in bed, starrign two men apparently as clueless as she is.

    "Humpday" is infinitely more insulting than "Bruno."

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 9, 2009 8:01:39 PM

  2. well, like i said it won't satisfy everyone. and I think there was ambiguity in the sexual drift and retreat of the Mark Duplass character.

    P.S. why should a woman or these two characters NOT be clueless about gay sex? it's not a movie about gay people.

    Posted by: Nathaniel R | Jul 9, 2009 8:10:45 PM

  3. If they're going to have sexx wouldn't they discuss who's going to be the top?

    If Joshua Leonard's character balked at dildos at a prospective three-way with two women wouldn't he say something about not wanting to get fucked by Mark Duplass' character?

    The film REEKS of straight privileged. We're just a joke to them.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 9, 2009 8:38:59 PM

  4. It isn't a GAY movie. Its a SEXUAL, GENDER IDENTITY movie. I swear. Some of you guys really need to get out. Find some friends. Have a couple of drinks. Most of you (mainly referring to Ehrenstein and Michael Leowhatever, and etc) live in major cities, right? Go somewhere and relax and get all the chips of your shoulders. Sometimes I wish I could find you guys and run into your houses/apartments, shut the computer off, turn on some Sia, order chinese and a couple of bottles of brandy and make you relax.

    Anyways. Thanks for bringing the movie to our attention Nathaniel R. It feeds into my grungy, slightly overweight, hipster fetish.

    Posted by: SargentSaintly | Jul 9, 2009 8:39:02 PM

  5. I'm a gay guy, 40, and loved the fuck out of "Humpday," so much so that I'm really really intrigued by people who hate it, especially as violently as DE seems to.

    Smart, beautifully acted, and 10,000 times funnier than Bruno.

    Posted by: Brock Huard | Jul 9, 2009 8:45:32 PM

  6. I just say the trailer and was grossed out!

    Posted by: Gil | Jul 9, 2009 8:51:02 PM

  7. Anyone finding homophobia/crushing evidence of "straight privilege" in HUMPDAY is bending over backward to feel oppressed.

    "Humpday" has more to say about the (ludicrous but tenacious) idea of homosexuality being a choice than any other film I've seen.

    And yes, it was made by a straight woman.

    Posted by: Louis B. | Jul 9, 2009 8:53:32 PM

  8. omg guys: unclench.

    Humpday was a good movie, and it wasn't offensive in the least. Had the benefit of a q&a with the director after the showing here in Philadelphia and was very impressed with what she had to say about her fascination with the straight male psyche. If anything, this should be offensive to straight men, who are portrayed as cavemen in their need to one-up each other.

    Posted by: Patrick | Jul 9, 2009 9:38:40 PM

  9. Louis B., David Ehrenstein does indeed enjoy feeling oppressed. I had a free pass to see Humpday on Tuesday but skipped out. Too bad for me.

    It doesn't surprise me at all that I Love You, Beth Cooper is a bad movie. I completely failed to understand why the book received so much praise; it's just a stereotypical high school story: the geeks versus the jocks and cheerleaders. The author is good with details of the era it covers, but that's about it.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 9, 2009 10:44:39 PM

  10. It was made by a clueless cunt.

    And I say that with love as the bluebird of happines flies out of your worthless as.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 9, 2009 11:30:51 PM

  11. I'd enjoy feeling oppressed a lot more if I had the chance to fist-fuck your worthless ass.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 9, 2009 11:48:29 PM

  12. On paper, Humpday sounds awful. But all the reviews I've read are quite positive. So I'm keeping an open mind and will give it a shot (unlike the Bruno haters).

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 10, 2009 12:03:10 AM

  13. I saw Humpday at Sundance.

    It is just not that good. For some reason, some really bad films get great reviews during Sundance. I think the thin mountain air affects critics too much up there.

    Posted by: Chrissypoo | Jul 10, 2009 1:50:55 AM

  14. Humpday wasn't very good. It played like those rough school project movies that go on and on with a very puny script. At least it's easy to see judging by the laughing crowd I had around me that gay panic is still quite powerful.
    I<3 You, Phillip Morris was not that bad actually. The first hour works well. It's eventually the mix of comedy with romance and drama that kills it.
    Saw those 2 movies at the Cannes film Festival, summary here: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=426907044

    Posted by: arn0 | Jul 10, 2009 3:37:14 AM

  15. Oh David... how easily one's argument loses all credibility.

    Such antics really arent necessary.

    Posted by: j | Jul 10, 2009 10:00:13 AM

  16. The reason why anti-gay movies like Bruno and Humpday get good reviews is because 90% of movie reviewers are heterosexual males. Every study conducted on anti-gay prejudice found heterosexual males to be at least moderately anti-gay. These movies validate their wrong and bigoted beliefs and they feel good about it.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 10, 2009 10:16:07 AM

  17. LOL. Bill, you are so retarded it's almost not worth responding.

    90% of movie reviewers are NOT heterosexual males. I can attest to that as a former film critic and longtime flamer. In fact, the entire field of journalism skews female and gay. I can assure you that the straight male journalists aren't begging their editors to give them the Arts & Entertainment section.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 10, 2009 10:28:42 AM

  18. Crispy, you are so dumb and such a terrible liar.

    Rottentomatoes compiles film reviews. Out of the 117 reviews of Bruno 16 are from women and 2 from gay men, which means 99 are from heterosexual males. Heterosexual males make up a total of 85% of the reviewers.

    Crispy you obviously subscribe to every bigoted notion heterosexuals have (like social hierarchies) and are unable to think for yourself.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 10, 2009 11:32:17 AM

  19. Oh, please. You are the biggest stupid fuck on the entire Internet.

    You assume that the majority of male critics listed at RottenTomatoes are straight because they don't work at Gay.com. Sweetheart, gay people work at magazines, newspapers, and websites all across the country.

    You are more of a homophobe that Bruno could ever aspire to be.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 10, 2009 11:56:08 AM

  20. Oh dear.

    Posted by: Tralfaz | Jul 10, 2009 12:49:12 PM

  21. Bill, have you ever had a positive experience with a straight person? Do you even know any straight people?

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 10, 2009 2:27:55 PM

  22. I like to think Bill was gay-bashed by the doctor who delivered him, and it's been all downhill ever since.

    Posted by: Louis B. | Jul 10, 2009 3:27:37 PM

  23. Crispy, you never back up your bigoted, dumb responses with any facts. It's all insults.

    Paul R, it's not just the anti-gay bigotry and threats of violence I have faced, it's also the data, the data clearly shows heterosexuals to be anti-gay. Look at all the data on anti-gay bigotry instead of assuming. Do you know how many millions of gay people have lived and died never living their life? Instead being forced to comply with the most oppressive regime, the heterosexual dictatorship, or else.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 10, 2009 4:20:56 PM

  24. Ahh, I think someone should take Bill's comment and embroider it on a pillow.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 10, 2009 4:46:10 PM

  25. No, Bill, I know absolutely nothing about bigotry or bashing. Zero. I've never read anything about gay issues in my entire life. I visit this site and pick up local gay newspapers to read the ads. For gay-themed books, I buy them if the author looks cute on the dust cover.

    [sarcasm concluded]

    Of course all the perpetrators of antigay bigotry and bashing are heterosexual (or self-loathing closet cases). Just like all members of the KKK are white. That doesn't mean that all heterosexuals are antigay or that all white people are racist. Yes, I've faced threats of violence for being gay, going back to junior high. But not everyone is out to get me, and I often have a harder time getting along with gay people than straight. Do you live somewhere that's made you fearful?

    As for oppressive regimes (I assume you mean overseas), that's a horrible thing and should be stopped immediately. I won't visit countries that treat gay people like crap on an institutional or social basis. Much of it is based on religion, much of it on scapegoating and power. But does that affect your daily life?

    I'm not the one assuming. You're assuming that every heterosexual has bias toward gays, and that's an insane proposition. I know several straight, married women who are desperately hoping that at least one of their sons grows up to be gay, because they prefer gay men to straight ones.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 10, 2009 6:52:02 PM

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