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2 Days in Paris (A Movie Review)

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

2 DAYS IN PARIS (2007)

Starring Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Daniel Brühl, Marie Pillet, Albert Delpy, Aleksia Landeau, Adan Jodorowsky and Alex Nahon.

Screenplay by Julie Delpy.

Directed by Julie Delpy.

Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films. 96 minutes. Rated R.

Julie Delpy has co-written two of my favorite films: Before Sunrise and its sequel Before Sunset, which Delpy created with director Richard Linklater and co-star Ethan Hawke. Those films were cinematic feasts made up of sumptuous dialogue and insightful character studies.

2 Days In Paris is Delpy’s first chance to helm her own film completely: she wrote it, she stars in it, she directs it, she even performed much of the film’s music. Because of my fondness for Delpy’s previous work, I did have high hopes for this film – and yet I also had a bit of concern; what if it turns out that her talents were massaged by the work of Linklater and Hawke?

I shouldn’t have worried. While not as good as those films, 2 Days In Paris is still pretty terrific. (Actually, ironically, Hawke has released a significantly lesser film hot on this one’s heels with The Hottest State – also as writer, director and co-star, so maybe Delpy and Linklater were propping him up.)

2 Days In Paris is much more blatantly comedic than the Before Sunrise films (though they too were very funny in their own, quieter ways). It is also more subtly subversive in certain ways. The earlier films were about the moment when people are discovering love like a flower blossoming. This is more about the very moment when they start to recognize the bloom is off of the rose.

The movie looks at a couple in their thirties. Marion (Delpy) is a Parisian photographer. Jack (a rare and well-deserved starring role by the always interesting Adam Goldberg) is a New Yorker. After a disappointing vacation in Venice, they stop in the city of Lights to spend a couple of days with her parents before returning home.

This leads to a culture clash where the smart, insecure, hypochondriac from the States with a huge fear of change is immersed in the more carefree lifestyles of her eccentric family. (Goldberg is one of Delpy’s exes and has an easy, comfortable, familiar rapport with her.) The couple is already on each other’s nerves when a sudden influx of meddling parents (played by Delpy’s own actor parents – Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet), old boyfriends, odd foods and strange quarters places more and more pressure on their already tenuous relationship.

Delpy has a deep understanding and love of both the Parisian and American points of view towards life and has fun poking at both sides. One of the meanest but funniest jokes is reserved for an American tour group which stumbles through the new city with Bush/Cheney t-shirts and DaVinci Code tour maps and no more appreciation of where they are than if they are visiting Cleveland.

Delpy also has a keen eye for the way a person’s surroundings can change them. Back in her home turf, Marion acts much different than Jack has ever seen her to be – simply because she is no longer Marion the artist or the businesswoman, she is now Marion the daughter and ex-girlfriend. Jack, on the other hand, is always feeling like an outsider to the point that it becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

2 Days In Paris isn’t a perfect film, but it is an impressive debut for Delpy. I look forward to seeing what is coming next from her.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2007 All rights reserved. Posted: August 26, 2007.


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