‘2 Days in New York’: Family affair

August 10, 2012


In her follow-up to “2 Days in Paris,” actress-filmmaker Julie Delpy moves her focus across the Atlantic and switches leading men – from Adam Goldberg to Chris Rock.

The result is another shaggy, discursive and amusing film – long on character, short on plot, full of sly observations about the clash of Franco-American culture, this time in the USA.

Delpy’s character, an artist named Marion, has jettisoned her neurotic hubby, Jack (Goldberg), and is now living with Mingus (Rock), a New York radio personality and Village Voice columnist. They share custody of his daughter and her son.

But their already harried life in their downtown loft is about to be invaded by her family: her father, Jeannot (Albert Delpy, the director’s real-life father); her sister Rose (Alexia Landeau); and her sister’s boyfriend Manu (Alex Nahon), who is also an ex-boyfriend of Marion, a fact she hasn’t mentioned to Mingus.

And then – well, not a lot happens. Marion shows her family around New York. Manu, an obvious trouble-maker, is arrested for smoking weed in front of a cop and is deported. Mingus hangs out with his would-be father-in-law, who doesn’t speak English (and Mingus doesn’t speak French). Rose walks around the apartment nude after a bath, unsettling Mingus. Marion, already under pressure with an upcoming exhibit of her photographs, winds up fighting with Mingus enough to make him question the marriage.

This may be an even flimsier construct than “2 Days in Paris,” which earned its substance through the witty tension between Goldberg and Delpy. In this film, Rock gets to riff about the nature of relationships as he tries to come to terms with the stress of the weekend and whether or not that’s a reflection of actual problems with Marion.

Delpy has a light, improvisatory feel and gets natural, sometimes witty performances from her cast. They’re all interesting enough to make you want to see what happens next.

Whether the things that happen in “2 Days in New York” actually add up to a whole movie will probably be a matter of debate, depending on individual taste. I found it diverting, if not a lot more than that.

Print This Post Print This Post
Share