If that doesn’t make sense to you, allow me to break it down. Unless you’ve been hanging around the Slamdance Film Festival “mumblecore” is likely a bit of a mystery. It is, by definition, true independent film; shot in sequence on digital video cameras with improvised dialogue and a do-it-yourself philosophy. Most feature twenty-something nonprofessional actors and a production value that makes the Dogme 95 films look like slick Michael Bay movies.
You, Me and Dupree is an awful Kate Hudson comedy about a houseguest that throws her and her new husband’s life into disarray.
Still in the dark. OK. Here’s the lowdown. Ben and Anna are happy newlyweds, anticipating the (eventual) arrival of their first child. One night, at 2 am Andrew, an old school chum of Ben’s arrives, looking for a place to stay. Andrew is a free spirited artist who is in Seattle to raise money to complete an art project in Mexico. His presence immediately upsets Ben and Anna’s comfortable routine, but when he and Ben concoct a scheme to make an amateur porno to prove their brotherly love—it would be “beyond gay” they say—it pushes everyone to reexamine their motives.
Mumblecore is about intimate relationships and Humpday does a nice job of framing Ben’s interactions with Anna and Andrew. His relations with both seem natural and real, but like real life it’s not always very exciting. Humpday’s use of natural conversation is easy on the ears, but could have used a dialogue editor. Discussions drone on and on and more than once I felt myself thinking, “OK, we get the point. Move on!”
It’s nothing that some tight editing couldn’t fix, and I wish someone would take the scissors to Humpday because other than that it is an effective study of people’s perceptions. As Ben and Andrew learn about themselves and where their boundaries lay the only thing that gets in their way is the incessant talk.