96 min., dir. by Julie Delpy, with Chris Rock and Albert Delpy
Continuing the story of her character Marion from 2 Days in Paris, Julie Delpy has created a sequel that flows independently from its predecessor. A light and airy comedy that plays like an episode of “Seinfeld” directed by Woody Allen, 2 Days in New York is good for a few laughs and a moderate amount of smiles, but it doesn’t redefine the genre.
Now living in New York with her boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock), Marion (Juie Delpy) splits her time between working on her big art opening and taking care of her son and Mingus’s daughter (during the time he has custody). With two days left before her show opens, Marion’s father and sister are set to visit New York from France, excited to meet Mingus for the first time. Arriving with another guest tagging along, what ensues is a comedy of errors that puts the general calm of Marion and Mingus on edge.
It’s difficult not to immediately latch onto Chris Rock’s performance as the standout triumph of 2 Days in New York. Albert Delpy (Julie’s real life father and Marion’s fictional father) is madly charming and lovable, and the rest of the cast play their parts well, but it all comes back to Rock. Chris Rock is hands down one of the greatest comedians of all time, but his acting skills have always seemed to be lacking. He’s chosen a few challenging roles in the past and began doing stage work, but he’s really come into his own here. It’s refreshing to see him as a character for once, instead of Chris Rock just playing Chris Rock. Playing the straight man to the entire cast, he is allowed to explore multiple avenues of his performance, while keeping it all wrapped up in one persona.
There’s really nothing striking about 2 Days in New York – it’s a typical relationship comedy that succeeds in its ability to be quirky for the right amount of time. It’s a world where all the intangibles of life collide in a short time-frame, creating entertaining pockets of misconceived mishaps. This is more of a lengthy sitcom episode than a film. Think of it as the fears of Julie Delpy, filmed for your pleasure. These fears may be irrational and over-blown, but they exist in her mind, nonetheless. Her discomfort is your entertainment.
2 Days in New York serves as a palate cleanser. It’s a quick, soothing scoop that’s easy to digest while you wait for the next course. Whether it makes you feel better about your situation, or just pleases your funny bone, it’s a nice entry point for the Delpy-directed film world. This won’t beg you to make space on your shelf for the home release, but it will make you happy in the moment.