2 Days In New York – Review

2 Days In New York (2011) 

Director: Julie Delpy. Cast: Julie DelpyChris RockAlexia LandeauAlexandre NahonKate BurtonAlbert DelpyDylan Baker.

Strictly speaking this is a sequel of the 2007 Woody-Allen-esque 2 Days in Paris” (well…Woody Allen in his old days, of course), but it also stands on its own and works simply as a stand-alone story and certainly you won’t need to have seen the first part in order to find your bearings through this. However if you have seen “2 days in Paris“, you’ll probably come into “New York” with a certain baggage and knowledge which might help you in appreciating (and liking) the central character of Marion a bit more than this film gives you reason for.

A lot in the depiction of Julie Delpy‘s character Marion and her relationship with American boyfriend Mingus has to be taken for granted here, even if it’s all quite unbelieveable. Don’t take me wrong, it’s all rather charming and light enough to be entertaining, but the script lacks the subtlety, the romanticism and the sharpness from its predecessor, while at the same time it plays up all the possible French clichés one would expect: and so the French seem to have no sensitivity,nor social skills, no hygiene and of course they all love their fromage: these are all predictable targets and I suppose the only surprising twist  is that all comes from a French person willing to make fun at her own country (Julie Delpy also wrote and directed the film).

It’s all rather superficial but the jokes keep on coming, the culture clash at the centre of the film brings enough laughs and mercifully the overall lenght is only 96 minutes. There are some indulgences which I didn’t find particularly successful: Mingus’s monologues in front of a cardboard cut-out of Omaba are not as funny as they should be and the sequence where Marion tries to buy her soul back from a notoriously difficult actor playing himself (I won’t spoil here who it is, but if you google him you’ll be able to find out quite easily) is too indulgent, too knowy, and outstays its welcome  and in the end looses that potentially quirky charm it could have had.

But the biggest  and most refreshing surprise of the “2 Days in New York” is actually Chris Rock who despite the lack of chemistry with his co-star and an underwritten role, manages to pull out not just the best performance in the film (sweet, understated and charismatic) but possibly the most interesting and revealing of his career. Let’s just hope this is the first of many others to come.

6.5/10

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