While it's unlikely to set back American-French cultural relations, it's just inexcusable that “2 Days in New York” isn't a smarter, funnier and more creative film with the considerable if divergent talents of Julie Delpy and Chris Rock involved.
Although the fish-out-of-water comedy is the successor to 2007's “2 Days in Paris,” it's not necessary to see the first film — I haven't and now I probably won't — to follow the sequel. Director/co-writer Delpy (“Before Sunrise”) reprises her role as Marion, a French photographer living and working in Manhattan to stay close to her American ex-husband, the father of her oddball toddler son, Lulu (Owen Shipman).
She has moved on to a contented live-in romance with her former pal Mingus (Chris Rock), a hip DJ and journalist who shares custody of his death-obsessed daughter, Willow (Talen Riley), from a previous marriage. Despite all the moving parts, Marion, Mingus and their children have developed a cozy blended-family dynamic.
Their comfortable rhythm is completely disrupted when Marion's obnoxious French relatives — her free-spirited, sausage-loving father, Jeannot (Delpy's real-life father Albert Delpy), her oversexed, always-analyzing shrink sister, Rose (co-writer Alexia Landeau), and Rose's pot-smoking, casually racist boyfriend, Manu (Alexandre Nahon), who happens to be Marion's former beau — come for a two-day visit.