Thursday, August 9, 2012

2 Days in New York (2012) - Movie Review

Imagine watching an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia only it's based in New York and some of the characters speak French.  Maybe even throw a little Woody Allen in there.  That's the feeling I got when watching 2 Days in New York, the latest effort from writer/director/actor Julie Delpy.

Delpy stars a Marion, an artist that has an upcoming show where she is selling her soul as a concept piece.  She's in a relationship with Mingus (Chris Rock), a writer and radio talk show host.  They each share custody of a child from a previous relationship.  Things seems to be fine until a visit from Marion's father, sister and boyfriend throw their lives into a 2 day whirlwind of crazy.

Marion's father (played by Deply's real-life father, Albert) is passionate, a little nutty, and is difficult to communicate with as he only speaks a handful of English.  Her sister, Rose (Alexia Landeau), is sexually aggressive and seeks to push Marion's buttons at every moment.  She also has no issue with casual nudity.  Rose's boyfriend (Alexandre Nahon) is an absolute buffoon, acting pretty much on any impulse that pops into his head.  As soon as he's introduced, he declares he was Marion's ex and tries to bond with Mingus over 20-year-old music (Salt-n-Pepa).  The look on Rock's face is priceless.

You're basically watching Marion deal with the increasing craziness of her family and going from situation to situation over the 2 days.  Sometimes it's very funny, and other times it can be a little uncomfortable to watch.  Imagine knowing a group of people that just say whatever is on their mind without any regard for the appropriateness of it or who they are saying it to.  These are self-absorbed sociopaths we are dealing with here.  Mingus seems like the only sane person and you're watching the film from his perspective.  He's just as stunned at their behavior as we are.  As much as he'd like to just put them all on the next plane back home, you have to deal with the in-laws when you're in love, right?

Chris Rock was the highlight of the movie for me.  His performance was witty and had some nice nuance in his delivery.  It's a much different Rock than what you're used to seeing.  This is the type of stuff I'd like to see him stick with moving forward.  He's better than the silly comedies he's been stuck with since transitioning from SNL and stand-up.  The entire cast was very good and played off each other well.

Delpy directed and co-wrote the screen play with Landeau and Nahon.  They did a good job juggling all the characters and conversations without it feeling too hectic or busy.  It's not hard to follow at all.  While the movie is very funny, it's a little bit of a mixed bag.  It's like they tried everything, but it didn't always work.  As exaggerated as some of the film felt, it never felt unbelievable though.

This is a sequel to Delpy's 2 Days in Paris, which is a movie I haven't seen, but now wish I had after watching 2 Days in New York.  I imagine I might have enjoyed the movie even more with a little more familiarity with the characters.

If you like watching family comedies dealing with uncomfortable situations and dialog, then 2 Days in New York is for you.  You'll be entertained by watching someone deal with their family the only way they know how, but at the same time be glad it's not you.  It's witty and smart, but a little uneven.  This is one of the limited release films, but it should be available On Demand now.  It's nothing you have to rush out to the theater to see, but I recommend it as a rental.

3 (out of 5) Death Stars


  1. Glad you liked it. I still haven't seen it but really would like to as I loved Two Days in Paris. It's an interesting combination, Delpy and Rock and I can only imagine it works well or terribly lol.

    Great review, great site. Welcome to the LAMB!

    1. Thanks, Nick! I still haven't seen 2 Days in Paris, so I wasn't sure what I was in for going into New York, but I enjoyed it and now I'm looking forward to seeing Paris.