Frothy French Fancy – 2 Days in New York
The ‘Old World’ meets the ‘New’ in 2 Days in New York, the sequel to actor/writer/director Julie Delpy’s hilarious 2 Days in Paris.
Having broken up with her boyfriend Jack (played by Adam Goldberg in 2 Days in Paris) after having his baby, French artist/photographer Marion (Delpy) lives in New York with her new boyfriend, radio personality Mingus (Rock), who also has a child from a previous relationship. It’s a sophisticated and yet bohemian New York existence, but when Marion’s ebullient father Jeannot (played by Delpy’s real-life father, Albert Delpy), her oversexed sister Rose, and her sister’s outrageous boyfriend Manu unceremoniously descend upon them for a visit, coupled with the pressure of a significant forthcoming exhibition of Marion’s work, it kicks off two unforgettable days that will test the strength of Marion and Mingus’s relationship.
Fans of her previous films will find little to grumble about as the frothy, fast-paced farce that we saw in 2 Days in Paris is reprised. Commencing with a memorable scene in a NY Customs office where, on arrival, Jeannot is forced to part company with more French sausage and cheese than an upmarket West London deli could possibly handle. Walking a fine line between platitudes and truisms, the film narrowly misses descending into travesty as it plays out old culture clash clichés. With use of a Woody Allen style monologue book-ending the film, Delpy has been clearly influenced by Allen classics such as Manhattan and Annie Hall. However whilst Allen is able to develop character and maintain a high-octane comedy pitch, 2 Days in New York’s pace slips a gear midway through the film, slowly sagging under the weight of its lofty aspirations and ultimately culminating in a slightly soporific encounter with Vincent Gallo (who plays himself).
However after this slight derailment, the film does manage to get back on track and although some may feel that Delpy hastily ties up loose ends at the film’s denouement, she succeeds in directing a well-observed romp on the pitfalls of relationships in the metropolis. Comedian Chris Rock plays against type as the ‘straight man’ to Marion’s bawdy, non-PC family and Albert Delpy is a delight as Marion’s eccentric father.
Although less loquacious, than some of her previous films, the film vibrates with skill and verve, resonating with an Altman-esque feel for the unscripted and improvised. A worthy sequel, 2 Days in New York‘s mix of astute writing and winning comedic performances will probably delight many urban audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.
2 Days in New York(15) France/US 2011 Dir: Julie Delpy 91mins With: Julie Delpy, Chris Rock
They Say: A tantalising Franco-American stew
We say: Tasty in parts, but may leave a slightly bitter after-taste like 2-week old foie gras