2 Days in New York DI
2011 Running time: 92 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3
2 Days in New York KA

Synopsis

In director-star Julie Delpy's follow-up to romantic hit 2 Days in Paris, Marion (Delpy) has broken up with Jack and now lives in New York with their child. But when her family comes to visit, she's unaware of the effect that her new American boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock) - with his somewhat different cultural background - will have on her eccentric father (Delpy's real dad, Albert). Expect many a toe to be trodden on in this breezy slice of culture-clash fun.

Director

  • Julie Delpy

Cast

  • Julie Delpy

  • Chris Rock

  • Albert Delpy

  • Alexia Landeau

  • Alexandre Nahon

Review

2 Days in New York picks up several years after where 2 Days in Paris, also written and directed by Julie Delpy, left off.

Delpy's Marion, a French artist in Manhattan, has split from Jack, her American beau from the previous instalment, by whom she has a son, and is now living with her new boyfriend Mingus, who is played by an unusually composed Chris Rock.

From the moment her mad-cap family arrives at JFK airport with hoards of contraband sausages and cheese hidden in their clothes - which is, of course, duly removed at Customs - it's clear that this is going to be rather a different sort of film from its predecessor...

While 2 Days in Paris avoided culture clash cliches, honing in more on the kind of shifting perspective that happen in relationship regardless of where you are from, 2 Days in New York turns more pointedly towards an almost francophobe humour, as if Delpy herself, like her character, suddenly feels more affinity with her Stateside future than she does her European past.

Returning from 2 Days in Paris is old Jeannot (Delpy's real-life actor dad Albert), officially mourning his late wife, unofficially, chatting up Vietnamese masseurs in the massage parlour he goes to with an unwitting Mingus.

Then there's Marion's sister Rose (co-screenwriter Alexia Landeau), a nymphomaniac with a bad case of sibling rivalry and highly irritating boyfriend in tow, who also just so happens to be one of Marion's exes.

It's largely rather predictable situation comedy. Rose tries it on with Mingus (oh those incorrigible Gauls with their liberal values) and Jeannot makes unfathomable chit-chat with Mingus, who doesn't speak a word of French (of course).

Soon Marion is acting like a mad Frenchwoman herself and Mingus is utterly fed up.

From the joke about a certain rude act of the bedroom rhyming with Mingus, to the elderly father's, well, age, it all seems a bit lazy.

Where it succeeds though is where it hones in, like the first film, on the relationships themselves. Marion and Rose's elegantly crafted argument at the dinner table for instance - it's very hard for two actors talking over one another in the way sisters genuinely do to make it seem natural, but here it seems completely unrehearsed.

Rock, too, is unexpectedly good in his role as the sensible American, a much-needed anchor in amongst the madness.

No doubt this film will attract fans of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset (also co-written and starring Delpy), as well as 2 Days in Paris - but it's actually a sort of inversion of the Before model.

What happens when two people, two cultures, don't automatically understand one another?