Having returned in New York, Marion is trying to start her life anew following her breakup with her boyfriend in Paris. Marion meets Mingus, a writer who sweeps her off her feet. Now after they begin to live together with their children, Marion invites her family to come visit her from Paris. Starting immediately upon their arrival, the tension mounts between the language barriers and challenges with accepting each others’ quirks and personalities. Jeannot does not speak a word of English and is intrigued by Mingus’s racial identity. Rose, Marion’s sister, has brought her boyfriend, both of whom cannot seem to control their confrontational issues. With Marion rushing to make sure she has a great art show and Mingus trying to put together his next great article, those tasks seem to pale in comparison to just being able to corral the family.
Starring: Chris Rock (Mingus), Julie Delpy (Marion), Albert Delpy (Jeannot), Alexia Landeau (Rose), Alexandre Nahon (Manu), Kate Burton (Bella), Dylan Baker (Ron), Daniel Bruhl (The Oak Fairy), Talen Ruth Riley (Willow), Owen Shipman (Lulu)
Delpy returned from her 2007 film to put a new spin on the craziness of love and family. Her character started out with such calm and sense of balance, only to be tested as her family clashed with Rock. Her father, Albert, also returned for this film with his brand of oddness and crazy. Rock is meant to be the more balanced personality but even he is tested in several scenes. Nahon and Landeau were supporting actors for the crazed side of the story. The only significant challenge was that any decent acting was overshadowed by the jumbled mess of a story.
Delpy’s second film attempted to take the magic of her first while infusing a more cultural clash to the story. Mingus’s race became a very significant plot point for the story, as Marion’s family struggles to communicate with him, find topics to talk about and understand the relationship between Mingus and Marion. Barrack Obama seems to be thrown into the mix of the drama, as Mingus has a bit of an obsession and uses his success as a sense of inspiration. Jeannot has a bit of a fascination about Mingus’s views of Obama as well. If it was not about race, it was about culture. Manu and Jeannot had no problems with causing a bit of mischief, using their foreign status as a crutch. While Manu did not escape everything he attempted, Jeannot was able to continue to drive Mingus crazy.
There are some redeeming elements of this film, but it also appears to suffer from a sense of chaos. The family’s antics are cute initially, but a little less believable as the story moves forward. Marion does not do much to calm their eccentricities but it just appears like they are trying to cause trouble and that it is not actually a misunderstanding of cultural differences. The inclusion of Barrack Obama is one of those elements that is more about being timely than truly relevant, particularly when the element of getting to meet him fizzles out without any sense of closure. The same went for the use of the kids, which seemed to be a point the movie missed on. This does challenge the ability for the actors to establish any significant connection with the audience.
While entertaining at times, 2 Days in New York does not have the appeal of the original film and missed the mark on managing to present a cohesive story.
Dan’s Rating: 2.0/5