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Sundance 2012 Review - "2 Days In New York" (Familiar But Still Engaging)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 25, 2012 4:30 PM
5 Comments
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This will be a quick and painless one; I arrived back in NYC (from Sundance) this morning and I've been caught up in a whirlwind of work to do; I'm also having trouble keeping my eyes open after that marathon 5-day business trip to the festival.

So...

I was glad to FINALLY see Julie Delpy's follow-up to her 2007 indie flick, 2 Days In Paris.

And as with that first film, she not only wrote and directed, but also starred in this sequel called 2 Days In Paris, alongside Chris Rock this time, taking over for Adam Goldbergh who co-starred with Delpy in the first film.

In Paris, Delpy and Goldberg starred as a young couple attempting to rekindle their relationship with a visit to Paris, where her parents live… and, by the way, several of her ex-boyfriends as well, who they run into frequently.

Of course, some hijinx, hilarity and drama ensue.

In this sequel, which was first announced in August 2010, the dramedy comes to Manhattan, as Delpy reprises her role as Marion, a fiercely left-winged French woman living in the city, with her child (fathered by her now ex-lover, Adam Goldberg), and a new guy in her life, a radio jockey named Mingus (because it rhymes with cunninglingus, a running joke in the film, as well as Delpy's explanation for why she gave the character that name; there's also the Charlie Mingus connection) played by Chris Rock, who made me think of Malcolm X almost everytime I saw him on screen, thanks to his goatee and thick-framed spectacles - the Artiste look, I know.

Nothing particularly fresh here in this follow-up, if you've seen the first film in the series, and/or you're familiar with any of Woody Allen's talky relationship dramedies, which both of Delpy's films immediately remind me of; although I'm not sure if Delpy counts Allen as an influence.

Oh... and throw a little Before Sunrise/Sunset in there too :)

But if any of the names and titles I just mentioned tickle your fancy, then you'll probably also enjoy 2 Days In new York.

Not that I didn't like it; I did; it was just all-too familiar, even with Chris Rock's meaty role in it - a role he does so good a job with, you'll think he's a natural.

I recall being really curious about how Rock would hold his own against Delpy; and he does just fine here. I don't think he's a particularly good actor in general, but I think if allowed to just be himself and improvise on camera, he could be really funny and engaging.

However, I should add that Delpy, who narrates the film both in her own real voice, as well as with Marion's voice, has said both films were almost entirely scripted, not improvised - a question that I'm sure she's had to answer a lot, and will continue to be asked.

We could say that, going back to my suggestion of who she might have looked to for inspiration, in 2 Days In New York, she's the Woody Allen character to Chris Rock's Diane Keaton; we're on this journey with them as the movie progresses, revealing further details about their habits, tastes, emotional and sexual chemistry, and more.

These are character/relationship studies that give you the intimate sense of actually having lived with them over the course of the film's duration.

So expect more family, ex-boyfriend, current boyfriend drama and gaiety, with some racial/cultural tango.

When asked about a release date in the USA, Delpy said she's at Sundance to find a buyer, and she hopes it will be eventually distributed, but she just couldn't be sure of when. Those in the UK can expect to see it in theaters this spring.

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5 Comments

  • Vanessa | January 25, 2012 5:07 PMReply

    I'm glad Chris Rock got involved in this film; something different for him.

  • Mark | January 25, 2012 5:02 PMReply

    I loved "2 Days in Paris"! Delpy and Goldberg were awesome.

  • Cynthia | January 25, 2012 5:01 PMReply

    I'm in! I like her films.

  • Tambay | January 25, 2012 6:32 PM

    @Stephanie - She was asked during the Q&A that followed the screening, and she said the films were mostly scripted. I'm 100% certain of that. So, you're saying she lied?

  • Stephanie Trask | January 25, 2012 6:21 PM

    The first film was not mostly scripted. I have the shooting script. Lots and lots of improv.

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