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Despite the superficial similarities, Delpy's film owes far less to Linklater's earnest meanderings than it does to the barbed, hysterical comedy of early Woody Allen.There are a few moments of narrative navel-gazing--in particular, the film's limply conceived conclusion--but, for most of its runtime, 2 Days in Paris is an absolute riot.
Rather than let us even experience the hurried denouement first-hand, Delpy describes it in a tedious pop-psych voiceover.
Of the innumerable actors who have tried to ape Allen's shtick, none, apart from perhaps Albert Brooks, have brought it off as neatly as Goldberg does here, though his variation on the theme is edgier and less morose. Moments later, we have a variation on the Allen standard about grandmothers raped by Cossacks, when their cabbie says he wants to listen to a radio show on battered wives because "I had two wives, and I beat them both." When Marion and Jack arrive to see her parents--she has kept a small studio apartment just upstairs from theirs--the opportunities for cultural and linguistic friction increase exponentially.
The jokes, too, are equal parts fresh and familiar. Her father (played by Delpy's real-life père, Albert Delpy) is an earthy degenerate who leers at young girls and stews a whole rabbit for their first meal together.
The movie's delineation of the differences between Americans and the French is not a particularly probing one: The former are tense, prudish, and prone to jealousy; the latter, open, promiscuous, and, as Allen might have remarked, polymorphously perverse.
Yet simple as the dichotomy may be, Delpy gets good comic mileage out of it.
The movie opens with a simple conceit: Marion (Delpy) and Jack (Goldberg), who have been dating for two years and have just completed an Italian holiday, arrive in Paris for a two-day visit with her family before returning to New York.
From the outset, the echoes of Allen ring clearly: Delpy is the slightly flaky, Keatonesque free spirit, often pursued by men and not infrequently caught; Goldberg is the neurotic, omniphobic hypochondriac. "They voted for Bush." It's a joke of such geocultural specificity that it's hard to believe its author didn't grow up on the Upper West Side.
The point, evidently, is to have the film say something, to teach us a little about life and love and the compromises we must make to succeed in either.
But what's come before, while not particularly elucidating, has been far too fierce and funny to be topped off with such mush.
In her first directorial outing, Julie Delpy has managed 90 percent of a sharp, cutting comedy; next time, perhaps, she can give the ending some claws as well.
Julie Delpy’s quirky and incredibly French alter ego, Marion, invites an audience to New York City to spend another two hectic days with her and her wacky relatives in the new film “2 Days in New York” (2012).
Jean-Luc Godard (in Detective), starred in cult movies (such as the Quentin Tarantino-produced Killing Zoe) and even occupied the director’s chair (her work often being likened to that of Woody Allen), while perhaps Fans of the films would hardly complain, though.