Five years after confronting France with American mores in Two Days in Paris director and actress Delpy turns the stereotypical tables with a visit to New York.
Artist Marion (Delpy) and former boyfriend Jack have split up and she is now happily ensconced in Manhattan and a relationship with DJ/writer Mingus (Rock). Her son and his daughter, both from previous relationships, share the inevitably cramped flat into which descend Marion’s father (Delpy’s real-life father Albert Delpy), her child-psychiatrist sister Rose (Landeau) and a former boyfriend Manu (Nahon): a rapaciously engaging trio of French commentators on American hang-ups.
Much of what they say and much of what is riposted by Marion and Mingus sounds familiar, but the script and its execution are light and fast, interspersed with moments of screwball hilarity: Mingus withdrawing to his study to confer with a life-size cardboard Obama, Marion deciding at the spur of the moment to feign a sympathy-inducing brain tumour or selling her soul to great effect at the opening of an otherwise uneventful exhibition of her work.
Though the film is marred by a sappy ending, Delpy’s familiarity with and playfully determined use of East Coast idiom native to the New York sitcom genre also serves as a perceptive comment on language as the cultural paradigm for exploring – and exploiting – cultural, familial and social interface.
2 Days in New York (2 Tage New York) | D: Julie Delpy (Germany, France, Belgium 2012) with Chris Rock, Julie Delpy, Albert Del