Review of 2 Days in New York

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A Manhattan couple Marion and Mingus, who each have children from prior relationships, find their comfortable family dynamic put on hold by a visit from Marion's relatives.
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Movie Review: "2 Days in New York"

-- Rating: R
Length: 96 minutes
Release Date: 10 August 2012 (USA)
Directed by: Julie Delpy
Genre: Comedy

Best known for her superb work in "Before Sunset," Julie Delpy is the brains behind "2 Days in New York" movie. "2 Days in New York" is an incomparable New York romantic comedy, which typically uses crude yet smart language. This new movie awards the audience with a 48-hour portrait of a real contemporary family. Just like "2 Days in Paris," "2 Days in New York" embraces the same French family-meets-American boyfriend setup, but this time, Jack (Adam Goldberg), who was Marion's boyfriend, is replaced with the more intellectual and toned-down Mingus (Chris Rock). Though no credit should be taken from it, "2 Days in New York" is a continuation of "2 Days in Paris" as we see Marion (Julie Delpy) living with radio host Mingus. Both of them have kids from previous relationships, and they seem to love their life.

However, their beautiful life is rudely interrupted by the arrival of Marion's intrusive father, Jeannot (played by Julie Delpy's real dad, Albert Delpy), her sister Rose (played by Alexia Landeau) and Rose's boyfriend Manu (played by Alex Nahon). The arrival of the three is just a remedy for disaster, as they drive Marion and Mingus crazy, making their life a living misery.

Like "2 Days in Paris," "2 Days in New York" is full of jaw-dropping scenarios. The vulgar and ill-mannered behavior of the trio only makes things worse as they plan to attend the gallery opening of Marion's photography.

The movie is hilarious and persuasive to watch all the way through. To be specific, the movie has a scene where Jeannot is detained at the airport for trying to smuggle a huge amount of sausages and cheese into the United States. Rose does not make things better as she also portrays a weird character. As they settle in at Marion's apartment, Rose is seen to be in various states of unrest as she walks around the apartment. Manu's character appears to be retrogressive and somehow offensive as he walks around with a t-shirt written "Obama Homeboy." Keeping in mind that Marion and Mingus have two kids, Rose and the boyfriend do not seem to care as they have sex in the bathroom and even smoke bhang in the elevator.

Other than providing the viewer with good, sloppy fun and culture-clash absurdity, Julie Delpy weaves in some more complicated emotions, including Marion's pain over the recent loss of her mother. Though the calamity does not seem to be included in the emotional structure of the film, it definitely helps develop and even enhance the character of the trio. Julie Delpy's growing dexterity as a director and writer is clearly seen in "2 Days in New York." At a certain level, the movie tends to take on a touchy-feely theme, yet on another level; it seems to venture into odd-couple comedy about Mingus and Manu. Even though Manu and Mingis seem to have little interaction, they actually hold the extreme poles. For instance, Mingus' character comes out as serious and intellectual, while Manu's is arrogant, annoying and misinformed. Manu is the know-it-all kind of person, and his guts are clearly annoying.

Marion's hyper and deprecating character combined with her husband's intellect makes the movie fun to watch. The couple has to put up with all the madness brought up by the trio if they are to save their marriage.

A huge applause should be given to the director for her perfect choice of the characters as they perfectly fit the people playing them. Having Chris Rock play the straight-man role is definitely a plus, considering how well he did it in "I Think I Love My Wife." Albert Delpy also brings a fresh sense of humor with his bad English and weird behaviors.

Although the movie seems to get a bit silly by having a subplot where Marion intends to sell her soul to art, it amazingly manages to remain eye-catching and charming from the beginning to the end. Its success can mainly be traced back to the talented actors who are able to stay in character from the beginning to the end.

Julie Delpy's talent as a writer and director is indisputable, and it is her role as an actress that makes her special. Other than a few clich├ęd farce scenes, "2 Days in New York" brings with it a humorous disorder that is well grounded in real human behavior. The script revolves around affection and sudden enthusiasm that help unite the characters. Unlike many movies that lose you somewhere in the middle, "2 Days in New York" uses a simple theme that keeps it interesting and easy to follow.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars