out of Five
Running time: 91
Enjoyable comedy sequel with a decent script and superb comic performances from an excellent cast, though it lacks the bite of her previous film and occasionally falls back on easy stereotyping.
What's it all about?
Written and directed by Julie Delpy, 2 Days in New York is the sequel to her 2007 movie 2 Days in Paris. Five years on, Delpy's character Marion is living in New York with a new boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock) and they both have children from previous relationships (Owen Shipman and Talen Ruth Riley). However, their relationship comes under enormous strain during a two day visit from Marion's leftie father Jeannot (Delpy's real-life father Albert Delpy), her flirty sister Rose (Alexia Landeau) and Rose's stoner boyfriend Manu (Alexandre Nahon), who just happens to be one of Marion's exes.
The performances are excellent, particularly Chris Rock, who's effectively cast against type and delivers his best screen performance to date as a result – on this evidence, he should stick to ditching the schtick. Delpy is equally good (Marion seems to have mellowed considerably since the 2007 film) and their believable relationship is well written and sharply observed.
There's also terrific support from Albert Delpy (who splits the lion's share of the laughs fairly evenly with Rock), Landeau and Nahon, as well as effective pop-in turns from the likes of Kate Burton and Dylan Baker (as Marion and Mingus' neighbours), and from Vincent Gallo as himself, in a sub-plot that feels a little out of place, about Marion selling him her soul as a performance art piece. On top of that, Delpy maintains a decent pace, with the continual, rapid-fire dialogue ensuring a steady stream of funny lines.
Though there are several excellent scenes and some inspired moments (notably Albert calling a horrified Obama staffer a socialist), it's fair to say that not all the culture clash humour works and the script occasionally falls back on lazy stereotyping (e.g. Manu as a grubby stoner type who'd never have made it through immigration; Rose parading around naked in front of Mingus within minutes of arriving at their flat, etc).
On top of that, the script lacks the caustic edge that the 2007 film had (2 Days in Paris was a sort of anti-romantic version of Before Sunrise), a note that could easily have been supplied via a cameo from Adam Goldberg's character from that film, who is mentioned (he's Delpy's child's father), but never appears.
2 Days in New York is an enjoyable comedy with strong comic performances and a steady stream of funny lines, though a shade more darkness wouldn't have gone amiss.