If you weren't paying attention, it's entirely possible that mumblecore has passed you by unnoticed. I use the past tense because, depending on whom you ask, mumblecore is either over or never happened.

What the New York Times called "the sole significant American indie film wave of the last 20 years to have emerged outside the ecosystem of the Sundance Film Festival" in 2007 refers to a loose group of young, white, middle-class filmmakers whose projects are purposefully self-reflective. The films are made dirt cheap, relying on a cast and crew of friends, often without a script. They center on the awkward, sometimes boring tension of being a twentysomething, over-educated, under-employed, semi-creative, sex-obsessed dilettante.

Some of the main players are Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation, Hannah Takes the Stairs), Joe Swanberg (Kissing on the Mouth, LOL, Quiet City, Nights and Weekends, Hannah Takes the Stairs), Aaron Katz (Dance Party, USA, Quiet City), and the "Duplass brothers," Mark (The Puffy Chair, Hannah Takes the Stairs, Baghead, Humpday) and Jay (The Puffy Chair, Baghead). It's a spaghetti bowl of collaboration, with any one person sharing acting, producing, writing, and directing duties in any number of films.

Typical to the underground, early adopters declared mumblecore's moment over long ago, even though it's just now approaching mainstream recognition. Amy Taubin declared that it "has had its 15 minutes" back in late 2007 for Film Comment, but David Denby's paternally optimistic treatise on the movement ran in the New Yorker as recently as March. Compared to everything from the French new wave to The Office, mumblecore has been attacked for laziness, homogeneity, and worse. It's always had a sense of potential that hasn't been realized.

This week marks the release of Humpday, an earnest, hilarious, natural film starring Mark Duplass and directed by Lynn Shelton (who also appeared in Nights and Weekends). Showing signs of maturity and good intentions, if anything can fish mumblecore out of its flophouse and find it a real job, Humpday is most likely it.