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2 June 2012

Encore un Jour Se Lève

Almost five years ago, I went to see Two Days in Paris, in the middle of spending two days in Nowheresville with the then Ex Dude. For some reason, Julie Delpy films often ended up having inordinate significance for us, but although my memories of Two Days in Paris are now tainted by the context in which I saw the film, at the time, apparently, I rather liked it. In the film, Marion (Delpy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg) are on their way back home from holiday to New York, via Marion's crazy French family in Paris. Plenty of culture clashing, awkwardness and hilarity ensues. Meet the Parents meets Before Sunset, directed by Woody Allen, the Grauniad explained.

Enter Two Days in New York. Several years later and Marion is back in New York living with her new boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock), a radio DJ. They each have one young child from previous relationships and life is generally good. Until the French invade. Marion's mother has recently died, and her father Jeannot (Albert Delpy--Julie's real-life father) and nympho sister Rose (Alexia Landau) are coming to visit for the titular two days. Naturally, it all goes horribly wrong, with Rose showing up with her boyfriend Manu (Alex Nahon), who also happens to be Marion's ex, and both Manu and Jeannot being detained at customs for, of course, smuggling cheese and sausages into the country. Tee hee.

Marion and Mingus's lovely New York apartment suddenly feels terribly small with all these crazy French people, whose crimes include: walking around the apartment naked, getting up to no good with an electric toothbrush in the bathroom, smoking weed in the elevator, making references to the colour of Mingus's skin and laughing every time they say Mingus's name because of a certain word with which it sort of rhymes. Tee hee. Naturally, Marion and Mingus's own relationship suffers when her family harm a potential career opportunity and continually prevent him from getting laid. But they are her family so can he really force her to kick them out?

Two Days in New York is funny and sharp and I did enjoy it. Marion and Mingus are likable characters and we want them not to be torn apart because of her family. We want them to make it. It is a little less biting and a lot less bittersweet than its Parisian predecessor--maybe it's just because we're seeing the same wacky family members and the same old issues that were shown in the first film. As I was leaving the cinema, I overheard a dude saying this to his buddy, "You know Zoey Deschel [sic]? That annoying, quirky woman? This is like the movie version of her." I think that is being a little harsh on Two Days in York because although it's plenty quirky, it isn't really very annoying.

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