Review: 2 Days in New York

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This sequel to actor, writer and producer Julie Delpy’s 2007 directorial debut 2 Days in Paris evolves the story by basing her in the Big Apple with a new boyfriend (Chris Rock taking over from Adam Goldberg).

The quasi Woody Allen comedy still flows, however, and it is Rock who steals the film as the reluctant host to Marion’s (Delpy) family – a dysfunctional trio of Gauls who threaten to wreck the love nest she has built with Mingus (Rock).

Dad Jeannot (Delpy’s real-life father, Albert) is a linguistically-challenged delinquent pensioner. Sister Rose (Alexia Landeau) is a nymphomaniac. Rose’s ex-boyfriend Manu (Alex Nahon) is a big fan of New York dope. Together they will test Marion’s patience and drive Mingus to despair.

Delpy demonstrates a genuine knack for quirky comedy – Mingus seeks refuge in his tiny office and finds solace by confessing his fears to a cardboard standee of Barack Obama – whilst embracing an openly theatrical feel.

As ensemble comedy this is a winner, even if some of the elements (jokes based on language barriers, smelly French folk and weed rub shoulders uncomfortably with a drawn-out gag about a brain tumour involving Dylan Baker and Kate Burton) provide a wince. Delpy ricochets from angst to paranoia to anger. Rock, so often left to rely on his stand-up roots, here delivers his best-ever “straight” performance as a solid partner whose acceptance of Marion is both undermined and questioned. Who’d have thought that?