2 Days In Paris
, 11 Sep 2007
At first glance multi-hyphenate Julie Delpys debut as writer/director looks like nothing so much as Before Sunset part 2. Both star Delpy alongside an American man (Here Adam Goldberg) and both are Paris set rom-com with a defined and very limited timeline. The first glance is deceptive. They are completely different films, most notable among the differences being that only one of them is a masterpiece
and its not this one.
Delpy contributed to the wonderful screenplay for Before Sunset and here she continues to show that shes a good writer. The screenplay is fast, funny and full of good lines. Casting the film with family and friends also pays off; the dynamic between Delpy and her parents works beautifully on screen and you have to wonder just how close the characters as written are to real life.
As Jack and Marion Delpy and Goldberg are, individually, excellent. Goldberg gets the lions share of the best lines and he hits with just about every joke, even some improvised throwaways (Im a huge Val Kilmer fan). Delpy gets more of the dramatic side of the film to play and she does it well; shes an admirably natural actress and the dialogue seems not as if it is scripted but as if it has just occurred to her in the moment. The problem with the film arises in seeing Jack and Marion as a couple. These people dont even seem to like each other, let alone to be in love. Thats easy to understand because neither of them is at all likeable. Marion is simply irritating, making an argument whenever and wherever she can and Jack is a shockingly whiny hypochondriac who complains about everything. I dislike these people and thus, frankly, I couldnt have cared less about their relationship.
The pedestrian direction is something shell have to address before her next film; Elizabeth Bathory biopic Countess, but ultimately doesnt take much away from this film as it doesnt demand much visual flair.
I understand why Julie Delpy made this film; it feels absolutely like shes done something familiar both as a way to get money to make a film and as a gentle introduction to working behind as well as in front of the camera but while Two Days in Paris is funny enough that I was generally entertained it is ultimately unengaging because the relationship just doesnt work
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