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Tanya Khoury: Cross-cultural jesting
August 17, 2012
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Julie Delpy reprises her role in the sequel to 2 Days in Paris with another somewhat quirky romantic comedy 2 Days in New York. She is the writer, director and main actor of this feature as well, and if you haven’t seen the first film don’t lose any sleep over it, it’s not that kind of sequel.

This story revolves around Delpy’s character Marion and her boyfriend Mingus, played by Chris Rock. She is French and her family comes to visit from Paris, it all turns out just as you would expect it to be and a lot more.

The premise for the film though was done before by Delpy herself. It does not take away from the initial plot, as this could just about be a story about any couple living in a multicultural environment. What we have here is a comedy really, a sarcastic and yet very clichéd way of looking at people reacting to different environments. It’s quite an entertaining tale once you get into it. The characters albeit their ‘2 days’ fee, like they have been there for a while. The film starts and ends with the narration of the story teller and in this case it’s Marion, talking about herself and her supposedly dysfunctional life.

What I enjoyed most about the film is the interaction between the characters. First and foremost allow me to say this that when I found out Chris Rock was starring I was not that enthused, I don’t particularly find his roles in films far from his regular written character, always playing the same role with little direction. As a standup comedian on the other hand it’s the exact opposite, but that is because he gets to decide exactly what needs to be said and done. Going back to this feature though, he was my favourite character after Marion’s father which we will get to in a minute. Rock played his role effortlessly as he portrayed the boyfriend trying to make sense of a loud and obnoxious French family raiding his home, and on top of all that make that extra effort to get to know them and communicate in any way, shape or form, even if it’s in some bizarre sign language.

Now we get to Marion’s dad. In the film we are introduced to Marion’s family, her father, her overzealous sister and the sister’s sleazy boyfriend. The father played by Julie Delpy’s real father is absolutely brilliant and he practically steals every scene he is in. The recent widower comes to New York to visit his daughter and grandchild and be closer to them in an effort to find some distraction from his own thoughts. He quite frankly makes the film, his hilarious rants and curses in French (the movie is practically 50/50 between English and French) and his interactions with Mingus is what brought the laughter to the rather reluctant audience that nowhere nearly filled a quarter of the cinema.

As an overall film and because I had seen the first film I hold a little more bias towards Chris Rock’s brilliant performance I felt that it was a light and fun take on what we consider to be overly serious and dramatic stories in our lives. There are funny moments as well as contemplating thoughts throughout the movie. I personally enjoyed it more than the rest of the people around me and I found the family visiting from abroad very relatable. A good hour and a half to leave your thoughts outside and get into a warped sense of comic relief. Delpy gets a 6.5/10.
 
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