American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
"Humpday," a film by a woman about the limits of male bonding, blows the whistle on buddy movies. After the buddies in those movies finish with pounding each other on the back, giving each other Dutch rubs and chanting, “I love, you man!” — how far are they prepared to take their love? Just about exactly that far, perhaps, and then they draw the line.
The film is a perceptive comedy about how many men, if not homophobic in theory, shudder in practice about the prospect of getting it on with their own sex. It’s also about how close friends in school can drift far apart in a decade. That’s what has happened to Ben and Andrew. Ben (Mark Duplass) is a married man, using fertility methods to conceive a child with his wife, Anna. Andrew (Joshua Leonard) is a shaggy college friend, who turns up in the middle of the night after living the life of a free spirit in India, Cambodia, Mexico and other faraway places.
Anna (Alycia Delmore) has never heard of this old buddy. But she’s a good sport and invites him to spend the night. Andrew spends more than the night, and Ben, now a straight arrow, feels a certain wistfulness about the freedom he has lost to marriage. Andrew takes him to a party of swingers no longer in the first bloom of youth, where booze, drugs and sex toys are thrown into the pot, so to speak.
When they’re fairly drunk, the two friends hear about a Seattle event named Humpfest, in which amateurs compete to produce the best short porn film. They decide to enter. They will win, they predict, because have the most daring idea: They will have sex with each other. Two straight guys doing it for the first time. “That’s beyond gay!”