Julie Delpy, Chris Rock and Dylan Baker in Two Days In New York
Published: 17 May, 2012
by DAN CARRIER
Directed by Julie Delpy
Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars
Four years ago we were treated to Two Days In Paris, a rom-com about Marion (Julie Delpy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg) trying to kickstart a failing love with a city break.
For those who don’t recall what happens at the end of the film, it’s clear that Jack was given the heave-ho, as Marion now leads in a sequel, this time set in New York, where she is happily settled with another fella.
Mingus (Chris Rock) is a hip radio talkshow host who has not been exactly lucky in love (we learn of two failed marriages) but is now happily settled down with his beau Marion (Delpy) and the children they share from previous marriages.
Marion is a photographer and artist, and has invited her sister Rose and her dad Jeannot over to meet the new partner and attend the opening of her art show.
Essentially, the crux of the comedy relies on lazy stereotypes: Americans are sensible, if uptight, while the French are footloose, sexually liberated, but very, very eccentric with it.
We are treated to some crude jokes, silly cheap montages of carefree holidays in New York, and wobbly gags abound.
However, the scatter-gun approach does mean they hit their targets occasionally.
There are some nice one-liners that made me laugh out loud, and there is chemistry between Rock and Delpy, which for a rom-com is vital.
But perhaps the best thing is not the jokes, nor the two leads, nor the oversexed sister or her vile boyfriend Manu (Alex Nahon) but the father figure of Jeannot, who stomps through scenes with a Gallic confidence that says, “hey, we’re the original Republicans”.
Albert Delpy looks a little like a French version of top Womble Uncle Bulgaria, and he also manages to find roles that suit.
It helps here that his real-life daughter has cast him as her dad, and then fed him some rather tasty lines.
Another montage of his life shows how super-gorgeous he was as a young man.
He was born in Saigon and then conscripted to fight in Algeria.
He declined to kill anyone so was put on latrine duty for the next two years.
We hear he met his wife on the barricades in May 1968 and then stayed happily in love with her for the rest of her life, and has since become a rather fun-loving widower, with passions that keep him boisterous (he keys gas guzzling cars, cursing the American wish for petrol-sozzled monsters), tries to smuggle eight fat-dried sausages into New York, and basically loves his family).
Rock saunters through the film with little oomph: some moments of humour come from him, sitting alone in his study with a giant cardboard cutout of Obama, who he turns to when he wants some male advice, but he seems to be a little overwhelmed by the sheer Frenchness of his co-stars.
Otherwise he spends his time pulling slanting eyebrows in reaction to the funny things these silly Europeans are up to. Yet he and Delpy do what’s required.
This is no classic, but it could be a good date movie.