CATEGORIES Magnolia, Home Entertainment, Movie Marketing, Posters, Features, Movie Photos, Movie News, CinematicalAsk anyone who has seen Humpday, the low-budget indie comedy that's been getting rave reviews since Sundance, and they'll tell you it's NOT a gay movie. They will tell you this because otherwise it really sounds like it is: It's about two straight male friends who decide to video themselves having sex as a sort of artistic expression. But what it's really about is how heterosexual male friendships work in the 21st century, and its portrayal of those relationships is hilariously, insightfully dead-on. That's why so many straight people who wouldn't enjoy a "gay movie" are enjoying this one -- because it's about straightness.
But convincing people to see the film has been a hard sell all year long, and to be honest, the poster wasn't helping. The movie is called Humpday. Its tagline -- "Some loves are meant to be. This one, not so much" -- and its scruffy stars suggest a gay hipster romantic comedy. The title hides their guts, makes them look thinner than they are. The poster is pink, for crying out loud. Once you've seen the movie, the poster feels perfect for it -- masculine, with a hint of irony about how obsessed we are with being masculine. (The flowery wallpaper is a nice touch.) But without having seen the movie, the poster just looks ... well, gay. Which the movie isn't.
It seems like the people at Magnolia might have been thinking along these same lines, because the DVD cover -- which only seems to be posted at Amazon so far -- changes the color scheme to blue and shoves a wife between the two man friends. Here it is, after the jump:
(That's Alycia Delmore, who plays Mark Duplass' wife. The other actor is Joshua Leonard.) They've skewed the spacing in the title, to play up the humor some more, relieve some of that sexual tension. The guys' bellies are showing now, too, and those are definitely some guts designed for comedy. Knowing nothing about the film, you might even think the plot is about these two men fighting over this woman. (Why are they in their underwear? Who knows! Maybe it comes from one of the film's wackiest scenes!)
My first impression whenever something about a film is changed for the DVD is that they're backpedaling on something, or overplaying one element over another to boost sales -- I'm skeptical, in other words. But I think this change actually serves the movie better. The story is centered on the two men, but the one guy's relationship with his wife is a key secondary component, and the wife figures very prominently in the film. It's not misleading at all to put her on the DVD cover. It more accurately conveys the complexities of the movie -- which is, as I said, not a gay movie. Not that there's anything wrong with that.