Two Days in Paris (4 stars)

This article is from 2007

Two Days in Paris

Romantic comedy

French actress Julie Delpy jumps behind the camera for the second time with a film that pays a heavy debt to her most famous screen role, that of Céline in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

Two Days in Paris is an investigation into the nature of romance as seen through the eyes of a couple trying to make sense of their attraction to each other. Unlike the couple in Linklater’s films, however, Marion (Julie Delpy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg) have been dating for some time and their relationship has become stale. She’s a French photographer and he’s an American interior designer; they’re in Paris visiting her parents after a sojourn in Venice. He’s neurotic and she’s gregarious and together they’re incompatible.

The comedy arises from Delpy’s toying with notions of culture clash and American stereotypes of the French. Paris becomes a city of love; indeed, Céline’s ex-lovers lurk around every corner. On the downside, the taxi drivers are racist and the people are very unfriendly.

The comedic observations are spot-on and Delpy, who in addition to directing and starring in the film also edited and composed the music, deserves plaudits. The underlying message is that romantic love doesn’t exist, only the resignation to compromise. Despite its ambiguous ending this is a must for all fans of Delpy and Linklater’s existential comedies. (Kaleem Aftab)

Selected release from Fri 31 Aug.