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Film Reviews, Films by women, French Cinema

2 Days in Paris (France/Germany 2007)

Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg in 2 Days in Paris
I rather enjoyed Julie Delpy’s film. It’s a kind of romantic comedy with elements of screwball and (very mild) grossout contemporary comedy that features a French woman and an American man who live together in New York and are visiting Paris on the way back from a holiday in Venice.

It is almost biographical in the sense that Delpy is an actor who has been out of France for some time. She had previously co-scripted the second film she made with Ethan Hawke for Richard Linklater, Before Sunset (2004). That film covered the brief meeting of an American man and a French woman who had met before (in 1995’s Before Sunrise). In the new film, a similar scenario is played for laughs and Delpy directs and even writes some of the music.

Overall, I took this to be an American-style comedy, but with a French script that was more intelligent than American 30-something comedies and less whiny than Woody Allen. Allen is a reference point since the American man is half-Jewish and played by a Jewish-looking actor who in the film is mistaken for an Arab. I mention this because the film plays with the character’s sense of Jewish denial (and a stereotypical French response) and because it is indicative of the kind of material in the film which seems to have upset many of the IMDB commentators, both French and American. But as one of the other users notes, these kinds of jokes are made in all cosmopolitan cities. So, get over it, I suppose.

I think it is depressing when Delpy gets criticised for being egoistic. She has produced intelligent, adult (i.e. grown-up) comedy. That’s pretty rare in my view.

As to the difficulties of finding finance for a film like this, Julie Delpy must have some clout, but I noted that it was a French/German co-production, which possibly explains the brief cameo appearance of Daniel Bruehl.

Discussion

One thought on “2 Days in Paris (France/Germany 2007)

  1. I confess to the geeky indulgence of seeing Julie Delpy being interviewed at the Edinburgh Film Festival. To add to your comments fairly randomly, she talked about her frustration at not being allowed a writing credit on ‘Before Sunrise’ (along with Ethan Hawke) despite their contributions to that process, which they corrected with ‘Before Sunset’. She clearly compensated for that with her writing, directing, acting, composing control on this film. She claimed (although this may be because it makes a good story?) that she had secured the financing for ‘2 days’ by pitching it as almost a remake of ‘Before Sunset’. Certainly fits the stereotype of risk-averse film financiers. Interestingly, she did not have an entirely positive attitude to French film industry. She commented that the financing control of French tv companies made for a very old-fashioned and uncreative approach to developing new material in films.

    Posted by Rona Murray | October 5, 2007, 16:36

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