I can't wait to see Humpday, director Lynn Shelton's new film about old college friends who decide to enter an amateur porn filmmaking contest and to have sex with one another on film. Did I mention they're straight men? Shelton has said that the film is about how straight men can turn anything into a competition — even if it means having to do each other.
The film hasn't come out yet, so I'm only going on reviews and the director's comments, but I'm a little disappointed that the sex doesn't arise for the two men out of confused affection for one another, but rather because of a contest. To hear why I think we need more films about men loving each other (or lovin' on one another) and why it's good for women, read more.
I'm convinced that if men were able to admit on some level that they want to be close — not necessarily have sex, obviously, but that maybe an attraction is possible — a lot of macho crap like denigrating women and homophobia wouldn't be so rampant. Why? Because a more open definition of masculinity would mean fewer threats to it. Take gay men — you don't hear a lot of stories about them punching straight people in the face for being straight.
A slew of films about male bonding, or bromances — Pineapple Express, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Superbad — have highlighted the cute and sometimes touching bonds men share. (Although sometimes, as I argued here, it's at the expense of women.) In my favorite scene in Superbad, Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) finally admit to one another during a slumber party that they love each other and will miss one another when they go off to college. It's stupid, says Seth, that men can't say "I love you" to one another.
I couldn't agree more, and whether or not Humpday ends up being a progressive movie about (extreme) male bonding or expands the idea of what straight men can be to each other (and others), I bet we haven't heard the last of this subject.