2 Days in Paris (2007)
2 Days in Paris (2007)

Genre: Drama and Romantic Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.

Release Date: August 31st, 2007 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Julie Delpy Actors: Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Daniel Bruhl, Marie Pillet, Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau, Adan Jodorowsky, Vanessa Seward

 


 

C

hronicling the varying debacles of young lovers as they spend a couple of very awkward days in France, Julie Delpy’s “2 Days in Paris” emulates the atmosphere of a French “Annie Hall.” Where it succeeds is in its witty and fast-paced ramblings about sex, racism, phone messages, Hitler’s mustache, and anything else that stumbles into the lead characters’ minds, with an adept naturalness or believable improvisation. Where it fails is in its heightened paranoia and jealousy between the two stars, and the voiceover narration that makes the total product more of a somber analyzation of romantic relationships rather than a nonchalant, slice-of-life reminiscence of love and love lost. Still, it’s thoroughly entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny at times, designating a fantastic success for Julie Delpy, who stars, produces, edits, composes, writes, and directs.

Marion (Julie Delpy) convinces her boyfriend Jack (Adam Goldberg) to spend a few days in Paris with her so that she can visit her parents and friends and show him the wonders of the city. Adam is immediately disquieted by the lack of communication between all the French-speaking people, and he’s continually confused by untranslated details (plenty of comedy comes from his quirky asides to Marion, who carefully decides what to translate and how accurately to do so). But more concerning than the language barrier is the frequent run-ins with several of Marion’s ex-boyfriends. Against the oddities and misunderstandings in the City of Light, the two must come to terms with jealousy, sacrifice, and the depths and boundaries of true love.

Delpy narrates this lighthearted tale of cynical lovers with a unique concept of audience immersion, adding clips, stills, and close-ups of ideas going on in her mind to the storytelling process. Since Marion is a photographer, she documents her journey through Europe with pictures for the opening sequence – an impressive, singular start to the film. Furthermore, several scenes and conversations are nothing more than hysterically fast-paced cuts between faces, or lengthy lingering on actor expressions. The dialogue itself is almost entirely comedy relief, as everyone in Paris is portrayed as obnoxiously off-kilter, with downright nutty perspectives on everything they discuss.

An art gallery featuring bizarre sexual stick-figure-like drawings; a relaxed party with insanely idiosyncratic guests; crude phone messages (“I’m your salami for life”); and a “fairy” terrorist are but a few of the abnormalities Adam and Marion contend with as they embark on seemingly normal activities for a couple, horribly skewed by Delpy’s focus on mishaps, misadventures, and misinterpretations – or the eccentricities derived from vitriolic viewpoints. Everyone is either delightfully crazy or suffering from severe psychogenic disorders. Despite the abundance of humor at the onset, “2 Days in Paris” digresses into a rather serious meditation on love, eventually permanently replacing the casual, goodnatured (or cynical) mood, to end on a note of emotional poignancy rather than laughs – which is amusing but not resounding.

– Mike Massie

  • 6/10