The follow up to the critically successful 2 Days in Paris (2007) brings us stateside but manages to hold on to its European charm. 2 Days in New York is a quirky romantic comedy written, directed, and starring Julie Delpy. Replacing the unforgettable performance by Adam Goldberg (Jack) is comedian, and indie movie newcomer, Chris Rock. Delpy has been called the female Woody Allen and to date I don’t think that is an outlandish claim in the least. 2 Days in New York is a great re-introduction into Marion’s (Delpy) manic world, and the inclusion of Mingus, (Rock) her new boyfriend.
When last we saw Marion she was working things out with Jack and the couple seemed to live happily ever after. 2 Days in New York opens with Marion confiding in Mingus that she is contemplating leaving Jack, and in classic Marion fashion she becomes single soon after. Like clockwork Mingus and Marion get together and that’s where the story really starts moving. After what seems like a fairly normal life together with their two kids from previous relationships, Marion and Mingus look like a typical New York couple. However, things begin to go off the rails when Marion’s father Jeannot (Albert Delpy - Julie Delpy’s real life father), her sister Rose (Alexia Landeau) and Rose's boyfriend Manu (Alexandre Nahon) come to visit from France. When this group of Parisians gets to town its just a series of culture disasters. From the sensibilities that the French have with nudity to the assumption that an Indian guy is Kumar from the Harold and Kumar movies Jeannot, Rose, and Manu drive both Mingus and Marion up a wall. In the 2007 film Marion was constantly trying to keep Jack at ease in her native country. However, in the 2012 follow up Marion is constantly berating her family for their uncompromising French ways. Its nice to see they went in a slightly different direction and didn’t fall into the trap of rehashing the same material from the first film.
Chris Rock’s Mingus is as nuanced as Jack’s character. He is a normal guy thrust into an untenable situation. His life is going as planned until these people walk in and make him question Marion’s background and mental stability. Mingus is the vessel in which we see Delpy's well constructed world. I found myself thinking how I would react and it seemed pretty close to how Mingus responds. In the end, Mingus is the every man and Rock’s own personality shines through. At times, I would swear he was ad libbing and in a film like this it does/would work perfectly.
As a newcomer to the indie movie world, Rock did very well. Conveying a vulnerable side of himself, which made for an easy character to connect with. Julie Delpy once again shines as the de facto neurotic French woman. She drives you crazy with her manic moments but she is so endearing that those times just melt away. Albert Delpy, who is/plays Julie’s father returns and delivers at the same level he did in the previous film. His insatiable appetite for the bizarre and kink make him the perfect character. The characters of Rose and Manu are not as explored as I would have liked. I thought Rose’s character had such great potential but seemed to be squandered this go round.
I would definitely recommend 2 Days in New York to anyone. If you have seen the previous film than you owe it to yourself to finish out the story of Marion. The setting of New York made everything feel very comforting and personal, which played well when Marion and Mingus were in pre-Parisian invasion mode and added tension once their annoying house guests arrived. Go see 2 Days in New York and thank your lucky stars that you don’t have family like Marion.
[easyreview title= "Review of 2 Days in New York" cat1title="Jay's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="3.5" overall= false]
image via sofiaglobe.com