2 Days In New York

Directed by: Julie Delpy

Starring:  Chris Rock, Julie Delpy, Dylan Baker, Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau

2 Days in New York is a funny independent film that serves as a sequel to Julie Delpy’s 2 Days in Paris.   Written, directed by and starring Delpy, the film follows 38 year old Marion who is in a loving relationship with Mingus (Chris Rock).  Both Mingus and Marion have children from prior relationships and they have carved out a sweet life in Manhattan for their blended family.

Marion, an artist, is on the verge of opening a huge showing.  She invites her family to visit from France to attend her big event.  The shenanigans commence early when Marion’s father Jeannot (Albert Delpy) is stopped at customs trying to smuggle hordes of sausages and cheese into the country as gifts.  Jeannot is ultimately allowed to enter the country after turning over his food stuffs.  He is accompanied by Marion’s sister Rose (Alexia Landeau) and Marion’s ex and Rose’s current boyfriend Manu (Alexandre Nahon).

Mingus’s first interactions with Marion’s French family are troubled.  As an initial matter, there is a language barrier.  Jeannot is a sweet-hearted, loving older man who does not speak a word of English.  So it is difficult for Mingus to have a conversation with him.  Second, Marion’s hyper-sexual sister turns on her sexy vixen number whenever she is near a new man, including Mingus.  In addition, Manu, Marion’s obnoxious ex-boyfriend comes on strong to every woman he sees, and regularly makes racially offensive remarks in an attempt to bond with African Americans.  From remarks about Obama, the rap group Salt-n-Pepa, or mistaking a random Indian American for Kal Penn from Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, Manu inadvertently takes political incorrectness to new heights

To compound matters, Mingus is seeing Marion in a new light as she bickers with her sister and shows a different side of her personality as she interacts with her family.  The cultural differences reflected in the film (hygiene, invasion of personal space, table manners, smoking) crystallize that Mingus and Manu are from two different worlds. The film follows Mingus and Marion as they struggle to maintain their relationship when the French come to town.

I thoroughly enjoyed 2 Days in New York.  Chris Rock normally has issues with overacting.  His over the top style works perfectly for Madagascar and Everybody Hates Chris.  In films, however, sometimes his style can be a bit much.  This is one of Rock’s finest performances outside of Death at a Funeral.  He is reserved, but Rock still maintains the sarcastic wit and commentary that make him one of the funniest comedians of our time.  Julie Delpy also turns in a winning performance.  She is lovably neurotic as a woman trying to merge family crazy with her new adult life.  Her family is quirky, but she was raised with quirky; so they are completely normal and harmless to her.  But when you introduce your family to your mate, sometimes it can be exposing that you may be a little dysfunctional too.  Thus, her tale is easy to relate to, hilarious and refreshingly honest.

2 Days in New York can be enjoyed in theaters or on Demand.  I would watch the film with a glass of Bordeaux.