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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Nov 20: Two Days in New York

Tuesday

Nov 20: Two Days in New York

"Manhattan couple Marion and Mingus, who each have children from prior relationships, find their comfortable family dynamic jostled by a visit from Marion's relatives."
Directed by: Julie Delpy, Rated: R, 96 minutes

I have always been a fan of Julie Delpy and her films. She has an interesting look at things, from children to the afterlife, and although she may seem pretentious at times, I think she's just more unique than anything else. She also manages to portray real romance very well, to the point that it can be hard to watch, even if it's funny. In 2 Days in New York, a film she also wrote and directed, Delpy steps back into the role of Marion, a role she previously portrayed in 2 Days in Paris. Co-starring Chris Rock, the film paints an interesting look at a relationship in New York. Unfortunately, it's really hard to picture Delpy with anyone but Ethan Hawke.

You have no idea how much this picture makes me happy. Before Midnight- 2013!!

Years after her failed relationship with Jack (from 2 Days in Paris), Marion how found herself in a relationship with Mingus (Rock), a radio host living in New York City. They live together in a small apartment, each with a kid from a previous relationship. When Marion's father (played by Delpy's real dad, Albert Delpy), her sister, Rose (Alexia Landeau), and Rose's awful boyfriend, Manu (Alexandre Nahon), visit, everything goes wrong. Mario becomes more stressed then usual, much is lost in translation between her family and Mingus, and the kids are introduced to a variety of things they are far too young for. Unfortunately for Marion, this is all in time for her art show that's about to premiere, and everything starts unraveling faster than she can put it back together.

Even an awkward sauna scene that looks entertaining, just becomes repetitive. 

2 Days in New York and 2 Days in Paris are both films that aren't for everyone. They are unusual combinations of comedy and drama and work for the most part. However, the few moments each film escalates into obscurity, it feels way too out of place. 2 Days in New York tends to go a bit more out of the box than its predecessor and just doesn't work as well as you'd hope. Chris Rock and Delpy manage to have great chemistry and all, but the story is really messy and rather bipolar. It's very dramatic some moments and then is riddled with ridiculous parts right after. Sure, a lot of the humor comes in the out-of-place-ness of Marion's father and sister, but a joke about the French's hygiene or their lack of English speaking abilities get old after we hear them over and over. Luckily, there's enough charm emitted from the entire cast to keep the entire thing afloat and tolerable.

Yes, that's a cutout of Barack Obama. Yes, Chris Rock talks to it throughout the film. Yes, it's awesome. 

While it's not a perfect film and is severely flawed, 2 Days in New York is watchable. It's not as good as the far superior 2 Days in Paris as it overreaches too often, missing the mark more than hitting it. It's sloppy in both presentation and story-telling but has a handful of laughs that keep you engaged. Delpy and Rock work surprisingly well together and the few moments when it's actually just them (improvising) are great. Unfortunately  there's not enough of their relationship on screen and the awkward focus turns to the out-of-towners, whose presences and jokes get tiresome very quickly. If you're a fan of the first film, I'd recommend checking this one out for curiosity's sake, but if you're late to the party, 2 Days in New York is okay to skip.

The Good:
great charm from Chris Rock and Julie Delpy
The Bad:
the charm is the only thing that keeps the movie worthwhile, as the script is quite a mess
The Ugly:
the handful of times the film overextends itself into ridiculousness are really hard to watch

Overall: 6.1/10

Discussion Question:
Are Delpy and Hawke destined to be together forever? Or does Chris Rock actually stand a chance?

Trailer:

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6 Comments:

At November 20, 2012 at 11:49 PM , Blogger TheVern said...

You have some very valid points for not likeing this one but I found 2 Days in New York to be better then the previous one. I think Rock and Delpy have much better chemistry then Delpy and Goldberg of the first one.

 
At November 20, 2012 at 11:58 PM , Blogger Nick said...

I liked Goldberg a lot. While I thought Rock was awesome as well, I think Goldberg worked better with Delpy.

 
At November 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM , Blogger Brittani Burnham said...

I didn't realize this was connected to another film. I saw a preview of this on my Take This Waltz dvd and threw it into my Netflix queue. I'll have to search for both of them now.

 
At November 21, 2012 at 3:26 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Definitely check out 2 Days in Paris first. Will make 2 Days in New York more tolerable and relatable.

 
At November 21, 2012 at 3:46 PM , Blogger Stephanie Ward said...

I have this on my Netflix Instant Queue, but based on your review I'm in no hurry to see it. :-) It sounds O.K. though, since Rock and Delphy have chemistry and there are some humorous bits.

 
At November 21, 2012 at 4:00 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Yeah, no need to rush to see it lol.

 

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