The Sundance Review Revue: 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK
You see a lot of different genres at Sundance, but there’s one kind of movie — the most popular kind of movie, as far as the filmmaking establishment is concerned — that you almost never see in Park City: sequels. Julie Delpy’s 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK is a rare exception, and a follow-up to the actress’ critically acclaimed 2007 film 2 DAYS IN PARIS. In that film Delpy’s Marion and her boyfriend Jack (Adam Goldberg) travel to Paris for a vacation intended to rekindle their sputtering romance. In NEW YORK, the romance has officially sputtered out, and Marion now lives with a new boyfriend, a journalist and radio host named Mingus, played by Chris Rock. Marion’s crazy French family travels to Manhattan for a visit and sends the couple’s relatively carefree lives into chaos.
Most critics seem to agree that Delpy did a solid job managing that chaos. John Lichman from The Playlist called 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK a “funny and welcome sequel…fresh, vibrant and most of all, disarmingly funny.” Jason Bailey from Fourth Row Center said that even if 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK “doesn’t reach the heights of its predecessor, it’s still very good to hear Delpy’s enchanting comic voice again.”
Rock might seem on the surface like a strange choice for an American-set riff on a bawdy French farce, but Rock is a bonafide Francophile, and a dedicated fan in particular of French cinema (his own 2007 film, I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE, was based on Eric Rohmer’s LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON). And even if this role is kind of a departure for Rock, it sounds like he nailed it. “It’s a comedy of miscommunication, fast-paced, hyper-talkative, and more than occasionally silly. Without Rock it might fly in 20 different directions,” Ty Burr said in The Boston Globe. “But the comedian anchors the film as its wise-cracking straight man.” Burr also compared the film to a French-inflected Woody Allen film, writing “If Woody Allen was a woman and was French — I’m sure he’s had dreams about this — and if he loosened up his filmmaking until the comedy started bubbling out of every corner, he might come up with something like this.” MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (IN A WOMAN’S BODY)? I like it. Let’s get it into development.
Eric Kohn made a similar comparison at Indiewire, calling the culture clash between Rock and Delpy’s family “an obvious imitation of Woody Allen discourse.” Michal Oleszczyk from The House Next Door noted it too, writing that “Delpy has become, to an almost discomfiting extent, a distaff, semi-continental version of Woody Allen at his warmest and most gentrified.” Ditto Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter: “In introductory material made up of city snapshots, zippy music and confessional narration that unavoidably evokes Woody Allen, Delpy sets the stage for what’s about to come.”
Sounds like if you like to watch ANNIE HALL while wearing a beret with Roll With The New playing in the background, 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK is going to be right up your alley. And if you do like to do that, I want to hang out with you — you sound like an interesting person. Almost as interesting as these tweets:
“2 DAYS IN NEW YORK is a crazy-ass blended family circus. Chris Rock and Julie Delpy are a weird, hysterical match. So fun. #sundance” — Logan Hill, GQ
“Give Julie Delpy a sitcom version of 2 DAYS IN NY. Or let her guest star on Louie. #sundance” — Matt Patches, Hollywood.com
“Didn’t like 2 DAYS IN NY quite as much as first. Charmingly acidic, but felt like a lot of comedy “business” w no real center. #sundance” — Rob Thomas, 77 Square
“Sundance: 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK – Julie Delpy goes the full Clouseau on unflattering French stereotypes.” — Jeff Labrecque, Entertainment Weekly
“Chris Rock on getting 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK script: “I was like, ‘What’s going on? Is Ethan Hawke dead?” #Sundance” — Amy Kaufman, The Los Angeles Times
For more information on 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK, go to Sundance.org.