'2 Days In New York' Is That Rare Worthy Sequel
In 2 Days in New York, the sequel to the 2007 film 2 Days in Paris, written and directed by lead actress Julie Delpy, Delpy returns as Marion, an artist and now mother of a little boy that is living with her boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock), who has been twice divorced and has a daughter of his own. Their relationship is put to the test when Marion’s father, Jeannot (Albert Delpy), sister Rose (Alexia Landeau), and her boyfriend Manu (Alex Nahon) — also an old flame of Marion — visit them in the city.
While the Paris film highlighted the cultural differences between America and France, and the strain that culture shock can cause on relationships, the New York film shows the impact that families can have on a relationship. Rose and Manu test the couple’s patience when they bring a drug dealer to the apartment and engage in bathroom sex. To make things worse, Rose suggests Marion’s son is autistic and makes a scene in a restaurant. As if that weren’t sufficiently awkward, Marion and Mingus’s neighbor (Kate Burton) is looking to get them evicted. Marion concocts a lie and comedy ensues as it spirals out of control. Meanwhile, Marion has an existential dilemma of her own: during a gallery showing, one of the big pieces that she considers the “selling” of her soul is purchased and, frustrated, she confronts the customer, leading to a heated philosophical debate. Despite the humor, this subplot seems out of place considering the rest of the storyline, and it ends up being one of the film’s weakest points.
The film peaks with the family members' interactions. Albert Delpy is charismatic and loving, Nahon and Landeau play silly well, Rock is ideal as the tested boyfriend, and Delpy is appropriately neurotic and manic. Another notable aspect of the movie is the wonderful shots of New York City. The Paris film was not as a much a love letter to the city, but more of a commentary on French life; there is no such commentary to be found here and, thus, the film focuses on the city’s grand aesthetic instead. Although the film lasts just under 100 minutes, watching 2 Days In New York left me wanting the vacation to continue.