CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: Julie Delpy, Chris Rock in Sweet ‘2 Days in New York’
CHICAGO – Julie Delpy’s “2 Days in New York” is an amenable screwball comedy with some jokes that definitely fall flat and some awkward emotional beats in the final act but a likable tone that allows for easy passage over the screenwriting rough spots. Ms. Delpy is still charming and co-star Chris Rock is more effective here than he typically is in film. It’s just a likable little movie without pretension to be anything more.
The film is a sequel to Delpy’s “2 Days in Paris,” in which she played half of a couple with Adam Goldberg as they spent some awkward moments in the city of lights. This time, Goldberg is gone as Margot has moved on from that relationship and travelled with her son to New York, where she has fallen in love with a radio talk show host named Mingus (Rock). The film takes place over the two days that her father Jeannot (the filmmaker/actress’ actual papa Albert Delpy), sister Rose (Alexia Landeau), and sister’s boyfriend Manu (Alex Nahon) come to visit. To say that these three characters are meant to invoke screwball comedy would be to say that Woody Allen movies are a bit neurotic. Delpy is going for broad, wacky humor and so while I can see how the contrivances and stereotypes could annoy some critics and viewers, I found the consistency and likability of the film engaging enough to recommend.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “2 Days in New York” in our reviews section.|
As for how Mingus and Margot’s relationship is tested by the arrival of her family, it ranges from minor irritants like the fact that Jeannot doesn’t really believe in showering to major ones like when Manu invites a drug dealer over to the house or when he has sex with Rose in their bathroom possibly including Mingus’ electric toothbrush in the proceedings. Margot seems to go off the rails a bit herself at the arrival of her family, constantly fighting with sister Rose and even going as far as telling neighbors Bella (Kate Burton) and Ron (Dylan Baker) that the reason her loud family is in town is because she’s dying of a brain tumor. Rose is convinced that Margot’s son has autism while Manu can’t stop making racist comments. It’s all very much in the vein of French screwball comedy although it’s now been filtered through a New York sensibility. Woody Allen has gone to Europe. I guess it makes sense for Julie Delpy to come to Manhattan.
2 Days in New York
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures