Review: 2 Days in New York, dir. Julie Delpy
Out on 18 May, 2 Days in New York is the latest directorial offering from the uniquely talented Julie Delpy, who also stars in the film alongside co-writer Alexia Landeau. BEVer Sonia Zadurian gives us her thoughts on this thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking release from the director who professes to have been “fired by every agency in town”…
2 Days in New York follows on from Delpy’s 2007 hit 2 Days in Paris, which followed French photographer Marion (Delpy) and her American boyfriend Jack (Adam Goldberg) during a two day sojourn in Marion’s home city, as they spent time with her sister Rose (Landeau), parents (Marie Pillet, Albert Delpy) and numerous ex-boyfriends.
Five years later, Delpy reintroduces Marion, who is now living in New York with current boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock). The pair are raising Marion and Jack’s young son (Owen Shipman), whilst also regularly caring for Mingus’ daughter from a previous relationship (Talen Riley). The living situation is ideal and the family seem extremely well settled, until Marion’s father and sister come to stay.
Though the narrative presents a thoroughly modern reconstituted family, the film feels older in both tone and spirit. 2 Days in New York is full of the kind of sharp, quick, situational humour one might expect from a classic screwball comedy, as differences in language and culture give way to the hilarity of misunderstanding. The entire film features fantastic comedic timing, in both performance and editing, but one dinner table sequence in particular epitomises the style and mood of the piece.
As Marion and Rose bicker loudly in French, Mingus attempts a conversation with Marion’s father which is thwarted by some incorrect translations. The fast paced chaos gradually builds to a wildly inappropriate climax which, once they’ve managed to control their laughter, will leave viewers marvelling at the skill involved in crafting such a scene.
As well as being riotously farcical, the film has several quieter moments of existential questioning; a testament to a smart script which refuses to play within the usual romantic comedy boundaries. A well written and thoroughly charming character combines with a perfectly balanced performance from Delpy, to ensure that the audience will gladly follow Marion into even the most unusual of territories.
The film is extremely well cast, as the actors not only make the most of their lines but also understand how best to approach interactions with other characters. Rock excels in a role which allows him to play a straighter comedic character than usual, whilst Julie Delpy’s father Albert commands some of the loudest laughs as Marion’s eccentric papa.
2 Days in New York is a refreshing romantic comedy which draws its laughter from several different comedic traditions whilst maintaining an underlying sweetness throughout. Charming performances, perfectly edited sequences and a hilarious culture clash script combine to ensure that 2 Days in New York is a true joy from start to finish.
2 Days in New York will be out in UK cinemas 18 May.
Click here for our exclusive interview with Julie Delpy, which marked the 2007 release of 2 Days in Paris.