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2 Days in New York

Once upon a time, the English used to recite, rather derisively, “The French, they are a funny race.” Much of the point of Julie Delpy’s 2 Days in New York seems to be based on this premise, and the presumably uproariously disruptive effect that ensues when a French expat’s family descends on her and her lover in their New York apartment. The fact that Delpy is herself French, and that she has already done a reverse version of this in 2 Days in Paris, may give this effort more meaning, but I’m unsure what it is.

Delpy’s portrayal of the little invasion of her character’s father and sister, and sis’s oafish boyfriend, may be more offensive to some French than the old English comment. This trio of visitors, here to attend a gallery show by their photographer-hostess, begins by trying to smuggle 30 items of sausage and cheese through Customs—hey, you can’t get them in a provincial town like New York, right?—and goes on to drug-purchasing, unbridled sexuality, sibling rancor, and boneheaded cultural misapprehensions (like with the sausage).

Not that Delpy’s Marion is a paragon of restraint and judgment. She’s impulsive, self-dramatizing, and at least a little careless about facts. At one heated juncture—although 2 Days never becomes very tense despite its farcical situations—her boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock) asks her if she’s not really “a psycho bitch.” But she’s supposed to be really lovable, withal, and Delpy’s brief voiceovers give a curiously aphoristic love-and-life gloss to things.

The movie has its amusing incidents, but it’s too much like Marion: ditzy, with a continually interrupted attention span, and too assured of its own charm.

Watch the trailer for 2 Days in New York

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