(No longer in theaters)
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Samuel Goldwyn Film/Red Envelope
Aug 10, 2007
Like Richard Linklater, whose film Before Sunrise made her famous, Julie Delpy does the handheld, semi-improvisational romantic-drama thing in her directorial debut, 2 Days in Paris. But the underlying sensibility isn’t Linklater’s. Who knew she wanted to be Diane Keaton in Annie Hall? She plays a high-strung, neurotic Frenchwoman (although her English is almost unaccented) in big glasses with a whining Jewish American boyfriend (Adam Goldberg) who has trouble being in the moment. As they stroll around the city in which she grew up, they meet one ex-lover after another. He becomes increasingly jealous (and does a Ben Stiller–like slow burn): Is she a total slut? She lies or makes defiant excuses. After all, her parents (played by Delpy’s actual parents) were counterculture free spirits who slept around, too. I kept waiting for a female point of view to emerge on this familiar, male-dominated genre. But, oddly, she pretty much concludes she was a slut before deciding she doesn’t have the strength for another breakup.
I wish Goldberg kept more in reserve; he’s so easy to read that you get everything you’re going to in the first five minutes. But Delpy has surprises in her. 2 Days in Paris comes to life in a couple of scenes where she loses it—one in which she drunkenly insists she has food poisoning, another in which she tries to rip the head off a smarmy ex-boyfriend. The movie should be seen with a large, responsive audience—the better to live with it in the moment instead of worrying about where it’s going.