Saturday, August 23, 2014
2 Days in Paris
Returning back from a vacation in Venice, a young couple, Marion, French, and Jack, an American, stop for 2 days in Paris, at her parents' home. What was suppose to be romantic, unfortunately quickly becomes anything but: Jack is a hypochondria, cannot speak French and is annoyed by Marion's dad. Marion in turn has endless arguments with taxi drivers or a former lover, whom she meets by accident in a restaurant. When her ex, Mathieu, sends her a lascivious text message, Jack breaks up with her. However, they meet again on the streets and make up.
The first 30 minutes of "2 Days in Paris" start off with a bang, quickly engaging the viewer thanks to numerous 'slice-of-life' observations and comical moments that show a more realistic side of a stressful, unromantic vacation of a young couple, Marion and Jack - the sequence where they are standing in line waiting for a bus, and Jack deliberately sends over a dozen American tourists, in search for the Louvre, to walk on the far end of the city and get lost, even though he does not know any directions, just to explain to Marion that he punished them "for re-electing Bush" and shortened the queue at the same time, is deliciously hilarious; the moment where Jack discovers that Marion secretly had another photo of a naked ex-lover with balloons, just the same as his own photo, is a sly example of "recycled turn on" - that even reminds a little bit of a female version of "Annie Hall", in terms of messy relationships (Julie Delpy directs and stars in the film), and "Chasing Amy", in terms of sex dialogues. Unfortunately, that level decays and wastes for the rest of the film, unnecessarily cramming scenes of poor taste (Marion's vile and primitive dad) that appeal too often to the cheaper audience, and not the more sophisticated at the start (too many lascivious talks about genitalia), thereby disrupting the higher impression and lowering it to a lesser enjoyment value. Delpy wanted to show that not even France is a perfect place in the world, but full of chaos, yet that chaotic feel spread to the whole film, as well. Likewise, she could have sent that message in a more subtle way.