Five years after Julie Delpy wrote, directed and played the starring role in 2 Days In Paris, she returns to the big screen for its sequel 2 Days In New York.
While the original saw Delpy’s character Marion bring an American boyfriend to Paris to meet her idiosyncratic family, the roles are reversed this time around. Here, her family, which includes her horny sister and stoner boyfriend as well as her crass, unfiltered father, have traveled to the Big Apple itself in order to meet Marion’s new partner: Mingus.
Essentially, what results as the kin arrive in the city is more of the same. Once again, the two worlds do not come together in harmony but rather in an often squirm inducing clash of cultures, be it her father’s arrest upon arrival at JFK for smuggling sausages or their misunderstanding that all black people know each other.
What, sadly, hasn’t transferred from the original is Julie Delpy’s wit and bite that made 2 Days In Paris such a delightful watch. Instead, she favours the screwball, the madcap and the slapstick, meaning that the laughs are not as consistently funny as before. By the time the second half approaches, the jokes have actually all but worn off. Similarly, there are few genuinely laugh out loud moments here with the finest lines earning little more than a snigger.
Nonetheless, the entire cast do a stellar job with what is handed to them. Delpy herself is as amiable as ever while her real-life father Albert brings an amusingly zany quality to her character’s on screen dad. It’s Chris Rock, however, who is the surprising star in the ensemble. He tones down his famously loud, quick-fire delivery for something more subtle, proving that there’s more to him than many might expect.
Where 2 Days In New York truly soars, however, is in the film’s more poignant moments as the French invasion creates tension between Mingus and Marion. It’s here that the comedy excels above being a string of cross-culture clangers and touches on something honest; the daunting bridge between a casual relationship and a serious one often symbolized by meeting the parents. And Delpy handles the theme with both sincerity and warmth.
2 Days In New York cannot live up to its charming original, but Julie Delpy has nonetheless crafted a colourful and uplifting slice of escapism, one short enough to never quite overstay its welcome. And though it never really gets the belly laughs fans of the French filmmaker may expect, this is one vacation that’ll leave a smile beaming across your face.