Two Days In New York Review

When is a girl not a girl?

When she’s pregnant and starts losing her mind.

Two Days In New York is Julie Delpy’s sequel to her directorial feature of 2007, Two Days In Paris.

Having got married, pregnant and now happily divorced from Jack, Marion and their little boy Lulu now live with her new boyfriend Mingus and his own young daughter Willow, from Mingus’ own failed marriage.

So with a new beau in tow, Marion’s family inevitably arrive to bestow the same loving experience upon the new couple as only they know how.

Inspired by events from her own life and family, with her own bona fide Papa reprising his role as Marion’s father Jeannot, Two Days In New York is more of the same brand of naturalistic dialogue mixed with French farce that Delpy favoured in her previous instalment.

It’s pretty self indulgent at times, all too frequently drifting into stereotypes and cliché, but these are offset by just as many genuine laughs and insight into the personal hell Marion enters when her extended family, minus her now deceased Mama, descend upon the new couple’s New York nest.

Delpy relies on playing her mentally unstable yet still sexy French woman card, familiar to anyone of the original Two Days film and, more famously, Before Sunset and Sunrise duo.

This is still endearing enough mind, if only because it captures the genuine emotional insanity most women I’ve ever come into contact with seem to have been practising their entire life.

Chris Rock plays Mingus with typical comic flair, without ever approaching the laugh out loud heights he regularly hits as a stand up comedian.

Perhaps that’s because his character also seems like a well worn cliché, as Mingus steadfastly refuses to ignore the obvious mentalness of Marion because she’s hot, French and will sleep with him.

Admittedly, this particular trick would still work on a lot of men out there and even a not too distant past version of myself.

But when you get to the ripe old age of however old I am now, having learnt from the inevitably traumatic experiences of managing emotionally high maintenance women, you learn to spot the warning signs from these types a mile away.

And avoid these girl’s like the plague.

So, instead of dumbing down Two Days In New York to reach a twenty something audience, of which I can no longer claim membership of, couldn’t Delpy have kept it real and explored this theme with the emotional maturity that comes with our advancing years?

Now, that would be a pretty great comedy.

With its the supporting cast of stereotypical characters from Marion’s family displaying some all too predictably foreign traits that infuriate and cause friction for everyone involved, Two Days In New York is still an enjoyable watch.

It’s just not something I’d lose my mind over.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

May 2012