Julie Delpy, having spent the entirety of Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise
and Before Sunset
walking around European cities and talking, decides to take hold of the reins herself in Two Days in Paris
. For this somewhat similar gabfest, Delpy writes, directs, and casts herself as one half of a neurotically fun couple, who stop over to visit her parents for a couple of days in (duh) Paris. Adam Goldberg brings his shaggy worrywart persona as Delpy's better half--and why shouldn't he worry? Her parents seem happy to play pranks on him, and Delpy's ex-boyfriends materialize in every arrondissement. Despite their differences in style, these two have enjoyable chemistry together, and Goldberg is gifted with razor-sharp timing. Good to see Delpy, who has often been tapped for ethereal types, playing a feistier character than usual. It doesn't hurt anything at all that they are walking and talking through Paris, a city with an inexhaustible number of attractive angles. At some point you may begin to realize that the movie doesn't seem to be about very much, and without Linklater's ingenious fixed-time structure, there's little urgency to the ongoing conversation. If you haven't seen the Linklater films, absolutely check those out first, and consider this a photogenic side dish. --Robert Horton
Beyond Two Days in Paris on DVD Stills from Two Days in Paris (Click for larger image)
Adam Goldberg delivers "an uproarious study in transatlantic culture panic" (MTV) as Jack, an anxious, hypochondriac-prone New Yorker vacationing throughout Europe with his breezy, free-spirited Parisian girlfriend, Marion (Delpy). But when they make a two-day stop in Marion's hometown, the couple's romantic trip takes a turn as Jack is exposed to Marion's sexually perverse and emotionally unstable family, her coarse temperament with cab drivers and her ex-lovers... her many ex-lovers. Culture-shocked and ego-bruised, Jack finds himself hoping that their relationship can survive as their love is revealed in surprising ways.