‘2 Days in New York'
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.
Unfortunately, the movie feels like it lasts two days, despite Delpy's frenetic pacing. Not only does the indie filmmaker squander Rock's comedic talents by relegating him to the straight-man role, but she also pads her film with unpardonable measures of slapstick and stereotypes. It's not a pleasant trip, and it's not funny either.
Bonus features: Individual interviews with Delpy and Rock, more individual interviews with the cast from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and a short making-of featurette.
— Brandy McDonnell