2 Days in Paris
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Now Showing at: Mariemont Theatre.
Review by: Larry Thomas
Have you ever been in a social situation where you seemed trapped in a room with people you couldn’t bear, unable to find an acceptable exit? Everyone surrounding you just droned on, and on, until your only option was to nod pleasantly and stare glassy-eyed into space.
That pretty much sums up the experience of sitting through 2 Days in Paris, the brainchild of actress Julie Delpy who wrote, directed, co-produced and starred in this mess of a movie that wants so badly to be part Richard Linklater and part Woody Allen.
Delpy is a capable performer, with notable appearances in Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy, and Richard Linklater’s pair of relationship dramedys, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. It was this latter pair of films that undoubtedly inspired her to create
2 Days in Paris, as it’s similar in concept in execution, but totally lacking in charm.
Delpy plays Marion, a Parisian photographer who now lives in New York. She and boyfriend Jack have spent two weeks in Venice after dropping off her cat at Mom and Dad’s house, and now they are returning to Paris for two days of family socializing before returning to the Big Apple. In the first half of this film, Marion seems to be an interesting free spirit of a person. Later, this illusion goes downhill to the point she seems like a completely different character.
Jack, her current boyfriend, is played by Adam Goldberg, who until now has mainly stuck to guest shots on TV series, and small roles in B movies. Jack is a jealous, whiny, neurotic hypochondriac, and is a complete mismatch with Marion. Jack flips out at the thought of mold growing on the bathroom wall, which is totally incongruous with the fact that he is a heavy smoker and has tattoos all over his body. A person who is that health, and germ, conscious would never engage in such risky behavior.
Mom and Dad are equally goofy, with Dad being the proprietor of a gallery dedicated to erotic art, and Mom an ex-hippie who once had a fling with Jim Morrison. Marion’s sister is a child psychologist, and has little to do with anything going on in what story there is. Their scenes play sort of like a Parisian Meet The Parents.
To say this bunch of grating, irritating personalities is too much for one 90-minute movie is an understatement. But there is one character that is wonderfully endearing…Jean-Luc, the cat. Although the cat has even less to do in the film than the sister, he is at least the center of sanity in this maelstrom of harping and sniping and bickering. Too bad 2 Days in Paris wasn’t made with an all-cat cast!