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Overall Rating

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Worth A Look65.63%
Average: 9.38%
Pretty Bad: 21.88%
Total Crap: 3.13%

4 reviews, 8 user ratings

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2 Days In Paris
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by Erik Childress

"Before A Lifetime Of Disparity And No Sunset"
4 stars

Relationship films should be a universal constant in the world of moviegoing. You may not like horror or westerns or action movies cause frankly how can you relate? Everyone though, be you of any sex or persuasion, has been through or involved one of their senses in the landscape of relationships. Where they’re going, where they’ve been. Is it worth pursuing or, more drastically, worth preserving? Julie Delpy has covered the courtship and the “what if…”’s pretty well with Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater already. Her directorial debut though makes for a fitting trifecta giving us a definitive tale of two cities that may come close to the best of times for the audience but certainly the worst two days for a couple who thought they were having the former.

Marion (Delpy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg) are on the tail-end of a European vacation. Visiting her parents in the city of lights, Jack’s neurotic hypochondria extends to worrying about terrorism and the language barrier that is only a jumping off point for the communication breakdown between them. They stay upstairs from mom and dad (Marie Pillet & Albert Delpy, Julie’s real-life folks). Mom is the doting type, even ironing Jack’s jeans, while Dad would rather test Jack on the French culture and see how far that crude American label will stretch. Jack is not nearly as amused when a private photo of him is circulated throughout the family for giggles.

American coyness aside, Jack becomes more paranoid at the friendliness Marion shares with her exes, all of whom appear to still live in the neighborhood. She naturally downplays her prior involvement with one guy after another, but Jack’s interpretation of “oui oui” is much different than Marion who casually shares blowjob stories to relieve her current lover’s stress about her past.

2 Days In Paris plays out like that for most of its running time. There’s a new suspicion around every turn and an opportunity for Jack to equally play with the English-challenged French. Jack questions. Marion dodges. Observations are made and sarcasm wins out. It all could have become tiresome as most viewers wonder how long Jack could possibly put up with Marion’s coyness and sexual nonchalance. But thanks to the actors and Delpy’s fashioning of the material, it becomes a screwball powder keg whose fuse is quickly building to an all-out blow-up, both literal and figurative.

While it may be inspired by her work Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, Delpy (who is credited with a screenplay contribution on the latter) wisely keeps the conversational tone focused on the inconsistencies in the central relationship rather than the philosophical hypotheticals posed by those hoping to avoid regret. The culture blockade between one informal about sex and another taught to repress our dirtier thoughts is still just a wall compared to the more intimate conclusions drawn by significant others believing in commitment and the corollary of their own shortcomings. Jack certainly won’t be winning any awards in self-assurance, but there’s something to be said for him wanting to create all the memories with his camera when Marion is the professional photographer.

Fans of Adam Goldberg have been waiting for him to make the leap from third banana and colorful supporting player. (The Hebrew Hammer just never took off like it should have.) Finally here’s a role that takes full advantage of his sardonic certainties and ability to hold a room as the guy whose inner circle of conversation you can’t help but want to eavesdrop on. Goldberg plays Jack as a bundle of nerves worked through by casually inflicting his anxieties on strangers, such as the American travelers bastardizing their Parisian adventure by exploring the virtues of the Da Vinci Code. While no one likes the smartest person in the room, in France the untailored attitudes is enough to take the side of someone whose brutal honesty is packaged within the smarmy American. Delpy is not above picking at the warts of her home country, but doesn’t make easy jokes at their expense. Goldberg and her are too smart for that.

Men and women getting together isn’t as natural as society would have us believe. Sure it may be the accepted norm and the parts occasionally fit into one another, but our natural psyches are fighting it every step of the way. Boys get jealous and the girls get suspicious. Guys hold everything in while gals see intimacy as essential. Men want space but women want the world. It’s a miracle anyone can stay together with so many conflicting forces creating a storm of mistrust and misunderstanding. That’s too many misses in finding the right Mrs. for you. There’s a cynical contentment that ends Delpy’s film; one which can only exist through an observer instead of an entertainer uneasily attaching happiness to an ending. Delpy does entertain thoroughly though, distinguishing that every male and female can have a good time through the pain with a lot of laughs. 2 Days in Paris is a terrific piece of work from Delpy and I’m sure Linklater and Hawke would be proud to consider this as part of a trilogy with Sunrise and Sunset.

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originally posted: 08/10/07 14:00:00
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User Comments

5/06/10 Charles Tatum With characters this unpleasant, why should we care? 3 stars
3/05/09 Anonymous. a fun, enjoyable movie :] 4 stars
9/09/08 jcjs Before Sunset/Sunrise even worse..hohummer..nothing new 3 stars
3/11/08 Monday Morning Shoots for Woody-Allen-esque dialog, fails MISERABLY. Awful film w/ hatable characters. 2 stars
9/12/07 Anky This movie is shit i havent even seen it phil u r a loser 1 stars
9/12/07 Phil Van Kersen Very funny. Easy 4 stars. 4 stars
9/09/07 Private Nothing that hasn't been done better but good writing make this worthwhile for those intere 4 stars
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  10-Aug-2007 (R)
  DVD: 05-Feb-2008



Directed by
  Julie Delpy

Written by
  Julie Delpy

  Julie Delpy
  Adam Goldberg
  Daniel Brühl
  Marie Pillet
  Albert Delpy
  Aleksia Landeau

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