Art & Culture

For spme reason I didn't expect to like this film, which made it a pleasant surprise when I did. I think I imagined some rather self-conscious and tediously arty film, instead of which it's a witty and sweet comedy that Woody Allen at his (long gone) best would be proud of.

It's in the nature of a sequel to Two Days In Paris, which was also directed by and starred Julie Delpy. A further parallel might be with Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, which also featured Delpy.

In this new film, Marion (Delpy) is in New York with a new boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock), a cool calm New Yorker who finds having  a French girlfriend a little daunting as well as thrilling. Each of them has a child, and there is some talk of trying for a baby of their own. But when Marion's father, sister, and sister's boyfriend (who is also Marion's ex-) all arrive to stay, things get too much for Mingus. He has to retreat to his study where he talks to a cardboard cutout of Barack Obama, who acts as a passive listening board.

That's about all the plot there is, since the film is more concerned with character and relationships, which makes it so much more fun than films which are obsessed with narrative. Delpy has the rare combination of wit beauty and intelligence, and Rock has an unexpected charm and sense of humour that make them a wonderfully matched couple. You might argue that the French relatives are a tiny bit stereotyped, but all the funnier for that.

People often ask me what would be a good film to go and see, and knowing their tastes, I find it hard to recommend one. Now I have the answer – Two Days In New York. It's a treat.


By Phil Raby

Front Row Films

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