2 Days in New York
Modern screwball comedy from writer, director and actor Julie Delpy
In the intermittently sparkling sequel to 2007’s 2 Days in Paris, writer-director-actor Julie Delpy once again turns her attention to family dysfunction. This time her alter-ego’s Parisian family are holidaying at her NY home, where they continue to make mischief. 2 Days in New York is a modern day screwball comedy - an occasionally anarchic examination of relationships with a sprinkling of Gallic gusto.
As the film opens we learn that successful photographer Marion (Delpy) has separated from 2 Days in Paris’ Jack and is now living with radio DJ Mingus (Chris Rock), along with their two children from previous relationships. Enter Marion’s father, the recently widowed Jeannot (once again played by Albert Delpy, Julie’s real-life father) and her judgemental, exhibitionist sister Rose (Alexia Landeau, who co-wrote the screenplay). There’s trouble from the off as they arrive with Marion’s ex, Manu (Alexandre Nahon), in tow and a customs-baiting plethora of smuggled sausage and cheese. Meanwhile, Marion’s latest exhibition involves the sale of an unusual item: her soul.
The film’s breezy, colourful visage is both complemented and countered by the entertainingly fractious bickering. Albert Delpy is a maniacal joy and Rock winningly tones down his acerbic shtick in favour of benign bemusement. Julie Delpy herself gives a more melancholy performance this time round, perhaps coloured by real-life grief for her mother, whose passing is referenced through the death of her character from the first film. The culture clash comedy does, however, wear a little thin and it doesn’t quite match the looser levity of its predecessor. Yet with its hair-pulling, arse-baring and soul-selling it’s often very funny and is certainly welcome respite from more saccharine takes on the subject matter.