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Sep 12, 2007

Fletch's Film Review: 2 Days in Paris

All this summer, we had been waiting. I was, you might have been, Hollywood and some little (maybe) studio certainly was. Waiting for that one indie to catch fire, to go from making $40,000 one week to $2 million to the next, on the way to grossing $20 or $30 or even $50 million plus. Where has our Napoleon Dynamite been?

Well, you can probably see where this is going. Unfortunately, it's no longer summer (except for here in Arizona, where it's still well over 100 degrees every day...but I digress). It's September. Kids back in school, fall TV season shifting into gear and the sports seasons returning/kicking it up a notch. Meanwhile, 2 Days in Paris has barely grossed $2 million total in over a month. For shame.

Outside of the much hyped (and deservedly so) Knocked Up and Superbad, this is the funniest movie of the year. Outside of that, it's also the best "romantic comedy" you've seen in the past 20. True, saying a romantic comedy is great is practically an oxymoron these days, but that's exactly why this one is so good.

Avoiding the tired cliches of the boy-meets-girl, boy-loses blah blah blah convention, 2 Days in Paris starts us off with a couple two years into their relationship - just at about the time where they've had more than enough time to have gotten to know each other and the idiosyncrasies are just starting to bug the other person. Or maybe they've been bugging the other for awhile now, but will finally be put to the test by a European vacation and subsequent stay with one set of parents. Yet where Meet the Parents failed in oh so many ways, 2 Days in Paris flourishes.

It's shot with a handheld camera, and, while this may make some ill (and has been railed upon for overuse in previous films such as the Bourne series), it works here, lending even more reality (and no doubt saving some money from the low budget) to the already real and fresh script, written by director (and star, and editor, and composer) Julie Delpy. This might as well be a documentary of the relationship between Jack (Adam Goldberg; hilarious, annoying, and endearing all at once) and Marion (Delpy; flawed, angry and endearing all at once). Better yet, these are layered, multi-faceted characters, bolstered by the fact that Marion's parents are played by Delpy's real-life parents (Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet).

Yet with all the smallness (close-knit cast, tight sets, low budget), this is a BIG film about BIG issues. No knock against Something About Mary, but I doubt anyone walked away having learned something about themselves, their significant others, or the opposite sex. You just might here - and you might pick up some French as well, as the movie's about 70% English to 30% French. Don't let that scare you away.

Fletch's Film Rating:

"It's in the hole!"


4 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: 2 Days in Paris"

Bee said...

It is THE best romantic comedy I've ever seen. Excellent, funny movie.
Thanks, Fletch, for the eloquent write-up.

Matt said...

I think I have to see this now. But I disagree about There's Something About Mary. I think men everywhere learned the importance of flogging the dolphin before a big date.

Fletch said...

But I disagree about There's Something About Mary. I think men everywhere learned the importance of flogging the dolphin before a big date.

Touche. And don't forget - we also learned how to properly pronounce Brett Fav-ray's name.

SedonaLowlife said...

An excellent, very entertaining movie, but for heaven's sake Miss Delpy goes a bit far with one of the most odious examples of Americans one can conjure: obese, wearing George W. Bush 2004 t-shirts, toting DaVinci Code gear, unable to speak a lick of French, and too obtuse to figure out how to find their way to the Louvre? Come on. It's not as if it's hidden in the catacombs.

And what was with Goldberg's character shaving the M into his chest hair? Didn't seem to jive with whom he was developed into.

Besides these - and a couple other small flaws - this was a delight and I also highly recommend. Great wit, some trenchant observations on the human condition, and Delpy, who has gained a pound or two, is still a charmer.