2 DAYS IN NEW YORK (2012)
Running Time: 96 mins. Rating: x Stars/5 Stars
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Julie Delpy
Language: English, French & Italian w/English subtitles
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Cast: Chris Rock, Julie Delpy, Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau, Alexandre Nahon, Kate Burton, Dylan Baker, Daniel Bruhl, Talen Ruth Riley, Owen Shipman, Malinda Williams, Vincent Gallo
Exuding a cross between MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING and a plot that could have come out of an urban Woody Allen movie, Julie Delpy’s 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK finds family to be a menace in this madcap, anarchic comedy about cross-cultural dysfunction and individual neuroses. The mayhem becomes repetitious and annoying (but so did Woody Allen in his pushing an Italian tenor to try out for an operatic role in TO ROME WITH LOVE). Still there is enough humor and even an occasional burst of belly laughs to be found in a movie that finds the writer-director sharing the stage with Chris Rock.
Chris Rock plays mildly against type (particularly if you judge him by his video on YouTube in which he riotously compares two types of African-Americans), a relatively quiet family type who wants only as many intimacies with his girlfriend as he can get but is discouraged by a visit from her sister, her father, and her ex-boyfriend from Paris.
In a role that comes off more embarrassing than funny, Delpy’s real-life dad (Albert Delpy), who bears a resemblance to the late Rabbi Schneerson of Crown Heights Brooklyn (see below), takes advantage of his inability to speak English by letting out a torrent of smutty commentary, such as “There’s no privacy here. How can I jerk off?” As if not to be one-upped, Rose (Alexia Landeau), who is visiting her sister Marion (Julie Delpy), walks around the loft apartment half-naked, showing one breast in yoga class as though a practicing exhibitionist. For his part Manu (Alex Nahon), who used to date Marion in Paris but is now Rose’s boyfriend, smokes weed both in the apartment and outside a police station. During an exhibit in a gallery Marion, who is a professional photographer, insults a major critic who is kind enough at first to say that he likes the show but soon thereafter complains that the photos are “mundane.”
Compared to this crazy bunch Christ Rock’s Mingus (rhymes with “cunnilingus” as a family member notes) is a straight arrow, delivering a monologue to a cut-out of Obama that is of no particular interest while indie-actor Vincent Gallo shows up in a coffee-shop meeting to describe why he bought Marion’s soul for $5,000. (You’ll have to see the movie to understand.)
Delpy is a great talent, speaking fluent English as well as her native French language, but she was better in less-frenzied productions when paired off with Ethan Hawke in Richard Linklater’s BEFORE SUNSET and in her TWO DAYS IN PARIS, in which her character Marion tries to rekindle a relationship with her boyfriend Jack.
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