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Sunday
Jun262011

2 Days in Paris

I was predisposed to like this feature by Julie Delpy.   As Celine, the young Frenchwoman in “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”, she earned a spot in my holy pantheon of film women whose names cannot be uttered without a sigh.   She wrote, directed, edited, scored, co-produced and stars in this unpretentious comedy-drama, and while I don’t feel anywhere nearly as strongly about “2 Days in Paris” as I do about those two magical gems, it’s still an interesting night at the movies for us Delpy-philes.   It’s about a neurotic American (Adam Goldberg) visiting the City of Lights with his French girlfriend, a sweet anger-management case played by Delpy, funny-looking in huge horn-rimmed spectacles.   I’ve seen this film described as “Meet the Parents” for the art-house set, and that’s about right: Delpy’s real-life parents play her parents, a volatile couple who retain flashes of their bohemian youths; her father is particularly memorable as a devilishly sanguine painter and French cultural chauvinist who delights in scandalizing the young American.   Much humor is mined from how relaxed and matter-of-fact the French are about our bestial drives, in contrast to the American’s chagrined uptightness.   “2 Days” isn’t life-changing, but it boasts the offhand charm and wit, bits of philosophy and film references that we enjoy about French film.   What’s more, it gives a sense of Delpy’s touch as a filmmaker: she directs an honest performance from Goldberg, she cuts with an interesting rhythm, and she does the writerly job of elaborating character and theme.  

Rating: ***

Key to ratings:

***** (essential viewing)
**** (excellent)
*** (worth a look)
** (forgettable)
* (rubbish!!)

- Sep 12, 2007 

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