2 Days in….Pick a City!(Film Reviews: “2 Days in Paris”; “2 Days in New York”)

In appreciation of the just released third and final installment in the trilogy created by Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater – Before Midnight – completing the story which began in 1995’s Before Sunrise and continued in 2004’s Before Sunset, I felt it fitting to remind you about the trilogy’s kissing cousins, the matched set of Julie Delpy films in which she directed herself:   2007’s 2 Days in Paris, followed by 2012’s 2 Days in New York. Notwithstanding Delpy’s sociologist-like fascination in mapping out a long historical narrative for the two characters she plays in each set of movies, they all work on a cinematic basis.  While the Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight films don’t hesitate to tread on increasingly serious subject matters as the two characters face the challenging milestones of life, the 2 Days movies are the stuff of much lighter fare, made even more so by the inclusion of Delpy’s own parents playing her character’s oversexed and often inappropriate mother and father.

“…. Sex Fun……Everyone with Everyone!”

“Ohhhh, the Mother’s a Slut too…. “

 SnapShot Plot

In both films, the premise is basically the same.  In 2 Days in Paris, Marion (the Julie Delpy character) brings Jack (played with classic biting sarcasm by Adam Goldberg) to Paris to meet her family, but what Jack isn’t prepared for is the laundry list of ex-boyfriends who keep popping up everywhere, as well as Marion’s troublingly sex-crazed elderly parents.  In 2 Days in New York, Marion and Mingus (in a nice normal guy role for Chris Rock) find their comfortable domesticity turned on its head by the sudden Parisian invasion by Marion’s father, sister, and ex-boyfriend who all camp out in their tiny NYC apartment.  Both films (although so similar) are very satisfying as studies in comparative culture between American and French sensibilities, albeit exaggerated for comic effect.

 Parting Shot

I’ve been a huge Julie Delpy fan ever since I saw her in Before Sunrise and starring in the second part of the masterful Three Colors trilogy, White (directed by the late, great Krzysztof Kieslowski).  2 Days in Paris and 2 Days in New York may not be masterpieces but they show Delpy’s impressive range of expression in both her writing and acting, as well as a sure hand behind the lens.  No matter what she plays or creates, she’s always believable, smart and intensely interesting.  You can watch these two back-to-back or at different times; they each stand on their own quite well.

Film poster images courtesy of http://www.dailycal.org

Two Days in Paris Trailer on YouTube Courtesy of:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8raqLzb3rQ

Two Days in New York Trailer on YouTube Courtesy of:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1HDAOlPDzA

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