Two Days in New York

Two Days in New York

Postby CAP » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:01 am

Two Days in New York is kind of a companion piece to Julie Delpy’s 2007 feature, Two Days in Paris with the amusing friction between American and French characters now played out on American home ground. This time an anxious French single parent, Marion (Julie Delpy) long settled in New York, invites her father (Delpy’s real father, Albert) and sister Rose (good friend and co-writer – Alexia Landeau) to visit her and current partner, Mingus, played with great aplomb by Chris Rock and attend the opening of her photography exhibition. It is the visiting French that are now the source of acute embarrassment and broad humour. As with most jokes about national stereotypes, they are most ruthless when coming from the home nation and here Delpy projects merciless gaucherie and rudeness upon her visiting sister and former boyfriend. Her father is at least allowed the redeeming feature of being good with small children. But essentially the visitors see nothing of New York they do not admire, except perhaps a little prudery or primness. The ridicule lies entirely with the selfish and ignorant out-of-towners. The dynamic, of a spouse nervously introducing her partner to her family is obviously a familiar one, but here approval lies more with the partner than family it seems. Her family have nothing but admiration for her black American partner, in as much as they understand him at all, while Mingus grows steadily more appalled by his guests and inevitably this reflects on Marion and their relationship. Delpy or Marion’s anxieties give the comedy an almost Woody Allen-like dimension or dementia as her family fail to live up to a suitable example of French sophistication and succumb to the most crass or clichéd aspects of New York. But the equation is finally a little too one-sided, Delpy perhaps a little too desperate to ingratiate herself with her adopted city.

Yet the film is undeniably entertaining. Delpy is a seasoned trouper and the gags work, the story smoothly structured; performances especially are finely pitched. As with Woody Allen, one senses the challenge for Delpy as a director lies in being able to step back from her main character or protagonist and to attend to stories less intimately tied to her own persona. As it is, they shape a little too much as vehicles for her special talents, immediate concerns. Marion again switches effortlessly between French and English while all else remain tentative if not baffled, has time from her career as a (so-so) photographer to steer the fantasies of her step-daughter, repair the apartment’s security system, to work an amusing health scam on her disapproving neighbours. Whatever deficiencies her family may present are to be counterbalanced against her own, formidable achievements. But at a certain point this looks like cheap praise; the insecurity of one playing both ends against the middle.
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Re: Two Days in New York

Postby jasperjoffe » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:32 pm

i enjoyed it too, rock and delpy very good.
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