Film Review: 2 Days In New York

Anyone who has read my blog over the past few weeks, and seen my latest selection of movie reviews will likely think that either a) I’ve become overly harsh in my thoughts towards the films I watch or b) I have watched a lot of rubbish recently. Personally speaking, I think that the truth lies somewhere between the two.

Having fallen for the chalms of the “Before… Trilogy” of films starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy when I stumbled across 2 Days In New York, a film co-written, directed by and starring Delpy I thought why not. It looks a fun, light hearted, rom-com and Chris Rock is always good for a laugh and so into the pile of films to watch it went. Now I know it’s the follow up to “2 Days In Paris” which I haven’t seen but from what I’d read the plot was separate enough to the original to allow it to stand on it’s own two feet and so I took a chance.

Part of my now wishes I hadn’t. Everything about this film is just wrong. This review is only going to go one way, and how badly and strongly it goes is still open to debate. I haven’t sat through such tripe as this since the time I forced myself to finally watch Garfield, and to be truthful, I ended up enjoying Garfield a lot more than this.

Starting with the plot this film just doesn’t make sense. It appears that they have taken every racial stereotype they can think of that could possibly be connected to the French and brought them to the screen ramped the stupidity levels up to eleven in some misguided belief that somehow that would be funny. It’s juvenile, immature slapstick comedy based on ideas that even a 4 year old would bore of after a few minutes.

2 Days In Paris - Sausages

And they appear to have taken everything you expect, every preconceived idea of the type of role they will play and turned it completely on it’s head. Chris Rock is arguably best known as a comedian and comedic actor and yet in this, he comes across as the serious one. He portrays angry and annoyed with everything around him in such a way that you almost feel he isn’t acting and actually felt that way for agreeing to be a part of this.

Delpy in the Before Trilogy of films is a serious, likeable character who brings a warmth and emotion to her role and yet throughout our 2 day stopover in New York with her, she manages to do nothing more than appear to be essentially a two year throwing a temper tantrum. Her attempts at comedy just fail and when we get introduced to her family, the film takes a nosedive from the ridiculous into the absurd. There is honestly, no family in the world that would act, believe, look and be capable of surviving on a day to day basis living they way this family are portrayed.

Honestly, if anybody’s family turned up to visit and acted even 1% of the way Delpy’s do they would be back out the door quicker than the unmentionable off a shovel. You wouldn’t just sit there and accept it, join in, or even pretend it is in any way funny, normal or how any grown adult would, should or could act.

And these problems stem from the underlying plot and the fact that there is no depth to it. There are no central ideas, nothing is ever looked into in detail, nothing is ever explained. This movie was written by 3 people and it feels like they’ve just played that old school game where you write one line of the story, fold over the paper covering it up and pass it to the next person for the next line before repeating the process, till invariably, someone ends up kissing their mother. Which doesn’t thankfully happen in this, purely because she’s already dead. But I bet they discussed it while writing the initial draft!

Once you’ve got your head around the fact that this film has a plot that doesn’t work on any level, you then get Delpy once again coming in like a bull in a china shop to ramp up the confusion. Her directing style is simple. Take a little of everything and mash it together. Part of this film feels traditional and classic, parts feel manic and confused, parts feel you’ve being forced to look at it through the eyes of a child and parts of it feel like a drug induced trip. But from a bad set of drugs. There are just too many styles and too many changes in the cinematography for anything to ever feel joined up.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in this film, how much I wish I hadn’t let it into my life because not only does it rank as one of the biggest let downs I’ve ever had, but also, it has totally destroyed the Before Trilogy for me because I think from now on, any sighting of Delpy on screen will instantly transport me back to the 90 minutes I lost to her watching this rubbish.

The really bizarre part is, for some masochistic reason, part of me thinks it could be fun to watch 2 Days In Paris because, after all, nothing else can be this bad!

5 out of 10 stars (5 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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