Hip talk-radio host and journalist Mingus (Chris Rock) and his French photographer girlfriend, Marion (Julie Delpy), live cozily in a New York apartment with their cat and two young children from previous relationships. But when Marion's jolly father, her oversexed sister, and her sister's outrageous boyfriend unceremoniously descend upon them for an overseas visit, it initiates two unforgettable days of family mayhem.
Julie Delpy directed and starred in 2 Days in Paris
, a 2007 film about romance, culture shock, and family. So is 2 Days in New York
, also directed by and starring Delpy, a direct sequel? Well--sort of. Her character has the same name, Marion, but she's moved on from her previous relationship and settled in NYC with a public-radio host named Mingus (Chris Rock). A sense of déjà vu is understandable, because here comes family again, in the form of her fragrant, boisterous father (Albert Delpy, Julie's real-life dad) and a sister towing her latest loser boyfriend (they're played by co-screenwriters Alexia Landeau and Alex Nahon). All of this trouble is happening while Marion is launching a gallery show, where the centerpiece of her collection is her soul, put up for the highest bidder. The makings of a likable enough comedy are here, but the film feels so slack, and the jokes so familiar, that 2 Days in New York
never manages to ignite. Delpy clearly loves Woody Allen movies, and that vibe creeps in from time to time, but it only underscores how far this movie falls from Woody's best. Kudos, however, to Chris Rock, who slips into the skin of a downtown intellectual and pulls off nice straight-man duty--even when he's conversing with a life-size cardboard cutout of Barack Obama. --Robert Horton