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|2 Days in Paris|
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E||
dir-scr Julie Delpy|
with Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Daniel Bruhl, Marie Pillet, Albert Delpy, Aleksia Landeau, Adan Jodorowsky, Alexandre Nahon, Thubaut De Lussy, Arnaud Beunaiche, Vanessa Seward, Sandra Berrebi
release US 10.Aug.07,
The shopping trip: Goldberg with Julie and Albert Delpy
Clearly a labour of love for writer-director-star Delpy (who also edited and scored the film), this thoroughly charming relationship comedy astutely captures the clash of the sexes and cultures.
French photographer Marion (Delpy) lives in New York with her American boyfriend Jack (Goldberg). After a holiday in Venice, they stop off in Paris to visit Marion's parents (Pillet and Albert Delpy), sister (Landeau) and friends. But Jack is shocked that they keep running into ex-boyfriends (Jodorowsky, Nahon, De Lussy). And with each revelation, he begins to wonder if he really knows her at all. Meanwhile, Marion's parents are perhaps a little too friendly and involved, and they don't speak any English.
Delpy demonstrates a terrific light touch that's reminiscent of Woody Allen at his observational best, hilariously catching the real-life humour in everyday situations. There are a few broad strokes (such as a group of obese Bush-voting Americans on a Da Vinci tour), but the film is mostly subtle and off-handed, gentle and relaxed, and utterly hysterical. It helps that the humour is character-based, rather than relying on contrived situations, so along the way the extremely pointed wit can target both French and American life and attitudes.
Every scene is packed with amusing dialog, delivered improv-style in a blur of French and English. Delpy and Goldberg continually reveal telling details about their characters (sometimes helped by witty flashbacks or Delpy's cagey narration). Watching Goldberg squirm about European attitudes to food, nudity, romance, just about everything, is terrific fun. While Delpy maintains a blithely oblivious attitude that's not remotely as naive as it seems. And the people around them are no less entertaining: Marion's outrageously colourful parents, her grumpy sister, the smirking exes, a fairy godfather activist (Bruhl), a parade of outspokenly bigoted cab drivers.
Delpy packs the film with comical encounters, which she mines for laughs without ever forcing anything. And amid the hilarity, there's a stream of truth that catches us off guard, as the film meaningfully questions how we can know each other well enough to decide to be with someone for good. This is a remarkable achievement--how many comedies feel this effortless, and this funny?
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© 2007 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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