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Have you ever spent 2 days in Paris ? Was it romantic? Culturally enriching? Socially educational? Shocking and intense? Dirty and rude? All of the above? Julie Delpy thinks so, and I would tend to agree. In her new film 2 Days in Paris, the possibility for things to go smoothly or (very) poorly are so close together it’s almost laughable. She shows Paris , and a relationship unfolding within it, in all its dirty, beautiful, threatening, passionate glory. And I have a lot to say about Paris too – I lived there for 3 years for christ’s sake, and both love and hate the place! It was refreshing to see Delpy’s singular image of Paris come through here, which was something entirely other than Hemingway’s world or the haute couture wonderland that is idly referenced everywhere else. She feels conflicted about this city that is nonetheless a second home to her, and she isn’t afraid to show her mixed feelings.
Moving at the frenetic pace of a neurotic Woody Allen, Delpy’s interaction with Adam Goldberg alternates between adorable and infuriating. Goldberg is spot-on, as a hairy incarnation of Woody himself opposite the frazzled but mellower Delpy. Their chemistry carries the film, but another thing altogether is what sets this one apart from most other love stories— Paris serves not only as the setting, but as a real character actively participating in their tumultuous back-and-forth.
If walking around the streets of Paris with begrudgingly sexy intellectual actor-types is an art form, Julie Delpy is its it-girl Picasso. But she’s much more; as the writer, director, producer, editor, star and (insert here) of this film, she has moved on from sophomoric films like Before Sunrise/Sunset to claim this one all her own.
In the end it left me with a feeling that I can only describe as nostalgique, which in French means a sadder form of what we know as ‘nostalgia’… *Sigh*……… It registered on a deeper level too, since aside from all the hilarity, Delpy’s words on relationships and breaking up surprisingly touched an intelligent—and significant—chord as well. If you’re in the mood for a real relationship, in one of the most fabled and misunderstood cities of our age, spend 2 Days in Paris