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From a study of the movie poster, you might be tempted to think this is
another pointless romantic movie about two lovers in France. "Oui,"
they will fight, love, eat croissants and find meaning. How drearily
But, surprise of surprises, "Two Days in Paris" is a very funny, very soulful and very interesting look at a slice of the life of two quite interesting characters. On the surface, Marion (Julie Delpy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg) are two irritatingly pretentious neurotics. Both 35 and childless, they have been traveling Europe for 2 weeks, deciding to stop in Paris for a couple days to drop in on Marion's family and friends before flying home to New York. Marion is French, the child of left-wing French artists. Jack is a New Yorker, a political lefty whose shallow grasp of culture (he speaks only English, for instance) is purely American. She had aspirations to be a photographer, though (for reasons the film will make clear) her work is strictly third-class. He takes pictures of everything, but has no eye for form, color or composition.
What's fun about the film is the complexity of the relationships. To Jack's annoyance, Marion keeps bumping into her old boyfriends. And her father seems intent on humiliating or offending him and his American tastes. A dinner scene in which he is offered a rabbit's head is just hilarious. When offered carrots, he says, "So, we're going to eat the bunny's food, too?" For her part, Marion cannot understand why Jack finds her continued casual friendships with exes to be so extraordinary. And Jack, utterly clueless about the nuances (or even the surface content) of Marion's conversations, is getting paranoid that he is not being told everything. At one point, Marion is holding a violent argument with a racist cabdriver. Jack knows something is going on, but can't get past Marion's insistence that everything is fine.
I realize as I write this that I am doing no justice to the joyful sense of voyeurism that the film affords.The film is so smartly written and fast-paced that sometimes you forget you are watching a film and think you are watching dinner with Julie's real family or attending parties with her smug and artsy friends. The film is completely convincing and has a depth of heart I didn't expect. It deal with secrets and the frustration that comes from knowing another person. The language and culture barriers then act as metaphors for the inability of two people, even lovers, to inhabit another's life and experience.
"Two Days in Paris" is not for all. Marion and Jack are exemplars of the worst aspects of US and European artistic classes. Their treatment of a group of Americans on a "Da Vinci Code" tour tells you more than you want to know about the antagonisms between right and left. But their smug, knowing put downs of Bush and Cheney supporters are less political messages by the movie makers than markers of the characters' personalities. This movie about liberals does not necessarily espouse their world view. But, at heart, this is a love story, not a political drama. Secondly, since we are talking about shallow artists, there is an enormous amount of politico-sexual "art" on display in the film. While this may be offensive to the audience, its presence helps to define the characters themselves. It's not there to titillate the viewer, but to describe the actors.
Delpy, who wrote, directed, produced and acted in the movie, has made a master work that is complex, evocative, real and quite beautiful. She has captured aspects of the French national character that seem quite convincing. She has also aptly captured the emotions and dilemmas of 30-something adults who, under it all, are still looking for meaning, belonging and peace. Goldberg gave a powerful and hilarious performance. He's Ben Stiller with a soul.
If you can put up with the film's politics, you will be amply rewarded. Magnifique!
The culture-clash story might have been done before, but this is still
a very refreshing and most of the time utterly hilarious movie. Myself
and the rest of the theater burst out laughing every couple of minutes,
which makes me forgive the few scenes that made me uncomfortable.
Definitely not for the faint of heart or easily offended!
The characters might seem over the top at times, but they're still likable and real (as witnessed by the fact that the artwork in the gallery was actually made by Julie Delpy's father). I thought that Julie Delpy's parents stole the show whenever they were on screen, although Delpy and Goldberg both do a very good job.
All in all, it feels like a very personal look at French (or rather, Parisian bohemian) life, and very much worth a viewing. Or even two.
This is a somewhat romantic comedy about a french-American couple
spending two turbulent days living with her parents in Paris.
My expectations were fairly low when I was coerced into watching Julie Delpy's directorial debut. After the first couple of minutes (and arguments between Delpy and Goldberg, respectively) I was still skeptical. But by the time her (real life, by the way) parents were introduced, things got really hysterical and I was holding my sides laughing throughout the rest of the movie. It has to be said that most of the jokes are sexual in nature, so this is no film for the young or easily offended. There are also moments where Delpys character is a little annoying, but those are thankfully far and few between. Similarly, I approved the brevity of Daniel Brühls appearance. Special mention has to go to Adam Goldberg, however, whose antics lend the movie the lion's share of its funny moments - I certainly hope to see more of him in the future.
I watched 2 Days in Paris staring Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg last
night. I've never much cared for Adam Goldberg, and I spent my own 2
days in Paris in 2000 and it was the hardest 2 days on a relationship
I've ever had. Maybe that's why this has become one of my favorite
films of all time. Watching Adam Goldberg deal with some of the same
foreign travel problems and relationship issues that torture him
throughout this movie.
The movie is half in French. It is definitely to your advantage if you don't speak French, because a key plot element is how Jack (Adam Goldberg) becomes so regularly frustrated by not understanding the language.
In the end, I think I loved this movie because it is one of the best love stories I've ever seen. It's not a Hollywood fairytale romance, it's real, it's gritty, quirky, funny, and ugly, just like love can be in real life.
Julie Delpy excels in '2 Days in Paris' as she writes, directs, produces, composes the music and stars in this romantic bitter/sweet comedy. Opposite Adam Goldberg, who has amongst other things played psycho Eddie in Friends and Private Mellish in 'Saving Private Ryan', Delpy shines as the nerdy photographer who has trouble with her eyes. The two central performances and sharp script means the film flows along at a pretty fast pace with the one liners so frequent you could easily miss the odd one. The situations explored around relationships and family are universal and so easy for anyone to relate to, there are misunderstood physical situations and language barriers which all add to the overall melodrama/comedy unfolding on screen. The film is peppered with brilliant moments from the awkward to the bizarre and the laughs come thick and fast, with Paris as a backdrop the lovers weave in and out of one situation to another always in love yet always on the verve of break-up. Co-starring Delpy's real father as her in film father shows a sense of tightness and a labour of love that comes across in the finished product. Like a cross between something from Woody Allen and Amelie this film has a special naivety full of wonderment juxtaposed with the dark underbelly of life that is at times hard to escape. Whether you laugh or cry you can't fail to be moved by a film so simple in its execution of themes that can, as displayed, be so complicated. Delpy has made something she, and everyone involved, should be very very proud of.
This witty and touching film considers the difficulties of cross-cultural relationships, in this case a relationship between an American man and a French woman. While the film sometimes relies on stereotypes (particularly with some of the minor characters), it also presents rich, fleshed- out characters that are clearly individuals with their own histories and experiences that they and those around them have to contend with. The film does not spare either Americans or the French in its critical look at the two cultures and the ways they affect the interactions of the two main characters. Both Delpy and Goldberg deliver fine performances, and the script offers plenty of laughs.
If this was rubbish, we would be calling it a vanity project. But, luckily, Julie Delpy is not only a good actor, but a fine writer and director. There are elements of 'Amelie' and the classic Woody Allen comedies such as 'Annie Hall' and 'Manhattan', particularly in Adam Goldberg's neurotic response to the chic scruffiness that is Paris. This film has things to say about the Franco-American culture clash, but says them in a gentle and affectionate way. Until you've been to Paris, it is difficult to realize just how much in love with all things American the (urban) French actually are... until they encounter it face to face, when they find it so baffling that the only recourses are sarcasm and irony, in addition to lapsing into French spoken so fast that even some French speakers find it incomprehensible. There is also lots to say about relationships and how they work, or don't. If you are in a relationship, you will cringe with recognition. If you aren't, you will wonder whether you really ever want another one.
What is it with Julie Delpy? I have only seen a hand-full of her movies
but she always manages to surprise and excite. She acts brilliantly as
the title character in Tarantinoesque Killing Zoë, manages to stay
convincing in the far-fetched An American Werewolf in Paris and is
great as a young lover in Before Sunrise and as a confident woman in
the sequel Before Sunset. This brings us to 2 days in Paris which could
easily be mistaken for a continuation of the Sunrise/Sunset movies. And
that would be a huge mistake: 2 Days in Paris is a dialogue driven
romantic comedy dissecting a couples quasi-dysfunctional relationships
and how they have to come to terms with their individual imperfections
to be able to truly coexist as a pair. Though that may not sound like
compelling viewing its actually hugely entertaining as it dissects a
million small mix-ups which can make or break a couple.
Adam Goldberg is compelling as the sarcastic yet witty American boyfriend visiting Paris for the first time with his girlfriend. What follows is a series of hugely entertaining misunderstandings involving cross cultural differences, hilarious conversations in broken French with family members and a series of unplanned rendezvous with former lovers all of which combine to drive him high up the paranoia ladder.
It's refreshing to find out that not only does Julie Delpy act brilliantly as the naive and clumsy Marion but she also directed and wrote it, heck she even composed the soundtrack.
The lasting message of this movie is although you might hate 80% of the things your lover does if you just cant live without them don't lose them
I must say that this not a boring film at all, although I found the
endless little quarrels a bit tiresome. It is hard, though, for a
non-French person to judge just how much of all this is meant to
portray the character of "the French" (if anything like that exists)
and how much is mere parody exploiting and playing with the cliché that
French people always think about love and sex. For example, is Marion's
father supposed to be a prototype or simply a caricature? Knowing this
would be of great help in evaluating this movie.
On the other hand, the film is very balanced in its attempt to weigh Marion's delight in experiment against Jack's conservative rationalism with regard to relationships. In other respects, of course, Jack is not rational at all, for example concerning his hypochondria. Whether one wants to call him touchy and easily offended will probably also depend on whether you think that, in the first place, he is being treated badly by all those slightly crazy Parisians or whether you would rather want to say that he is a bit stiff and inhibited.
In any case, this is a nice little film about the difficult task to lead a cross-national relationship and about the fact that thinking you know your partner is not the same as knowing her or his culture.
But don't expect to see a romance like in "Before Sunrise"!!
Let's take a few snaps-pots of this film:
- she sends a picture of her naked boyfriend to her family - when asked if she had an affair with the guy at the florist she replies oh no ! I just gave him a blow job - this guy will later in the film describe that it was like sex between sister and brother - her father has a gallery filled with sexually explicit and obscene paintings,he salivates at the name of orgasm, cunnilingus and is ecstatic when saying: sex good - at the party the guy who sits next to the main male character starts stray away to speak about women pubic hair
Please, I am French, I know a lot of French people, I have been to lots of parties in Paris and know a lot of uninhibited people, but the description of French sex obsessed people in this film is grotesquely twisted and exaggerated.
Like the description of the taxi drivers being stupid racist and fascist dick heads,is clearly over the top.
As a French person I almost fell offended in front of this accumulation of stupid stereotypes.
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