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Julie Delpy, Chris Rock in Sweet ‘2 Days in New York’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

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.

2 Days in New York
2 Days in New York
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures

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
2 Days in New York
Photo credit: Magnolia Pictures

By the final act, as Margot is having an existential interaction with Vincent Gallo (is there any other kind?) regarding the literal sale of her soul, I admit I had grown a little tired of these characters and their wacky behavior. There are times in film where characters who are designed to annoy each other merely end up annoying the audience as well (see “Little Fockers” for perhaps the ultimate example). I can say that Margot and those close to her rarely entered this grating arena but they did so enough to pull the film down just a bit. It’s totally contrived from start to finish and so when the film tries to get a little serious or realistic, it loses its way a bit. The emotional stakes aren’t what I wished they were or what I think they could have been to make these “2 Days” truly memorable.

Having said that, “2 Days in New York” is just a likable comedy. Rock is funny and believable. Delpy is incredibly charismatic (as she always has been) and she proves to be an adept director at screwball comedy. “2 Days in New York” is about the line between the crazy person we sometimes become when we’re with the people who can most easily push our mental buttons – our families. Julie Delpy gets how that dynamic is rich for contrived screwball comedy. When we’re with our families, we’re all a little contrived sometimes.

“2 Days in New York” stars Julie Delpy, Chris Rock, Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau, Alex Nahon, Kate Burton, and Dylan Baker. It was written and directed by Julie Delpy. It is now available On Demand and opens in Chicago on August 17, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Manny be down's picture

"2 Days in New York"

Chris ia always funny but I didn’y care for this flick much!

ziggy one of the best's picture

2 days in New York

Too much of a screw ball comedy and to be honest it did do it for me

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