2 Days in New York (review)

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2 Days in New York Chris Rock Julie Delpy green light

If there’s one thing I learned from Julie Delpy’s wonderfully eccentric dramedy, it’s that Parisians are as neurotic as New Yorkers. Who knew? Director Delpy follows up on her 2007 2 Days in Paris (which I have not seen, but will now make a point of hunting down) with the continuing misadventures of her Marion, living in the Big Apple with her young son… and sharing quarters with new American boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock [Grown Ups], who has never been this sweetly appealing onscreen) and his young daughter. Their pleasantly chaotic household is thrown into unpleasant upheaval for a couple of days when her French family comes to visit just as she’s also finishing the preparations for a major exhibition of her photography. You cannot take any of it at face value: Her father, for one, is just a notch below an outrageous stereotype, and several notches above just plain outrageousness. (Delpy’s actual father, veteran actor Albert Delpy, brings a naughty charm to the part.) For another, the turns the exhibit subplot takes are a kooky combination of absurd and artistic wishful thinking. The heightened sense of the ridiculous is not a flaw. Delpy [Before Sunset] — who also wrote the screenplay, with Alexia Landeau and Alexandre Nahon, who appear as Marion’s sister and the sister’s boyfriend (who is also, oy vey, Marion’s ex) — skillfully deploys her decidedly nonprecious quirk in order to slide some sly, wise observations about the compromises of all sorts of love and relationships into her funny slice of New York life. Her unique and unforced style makes a well-worn genre feel invigoratingly fresh.

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