Sunday, August 19, 2012

2 Days in New York, Beloved

2 Days in New York

After Richard Linklater's "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset," I was sure Julie Delpy - with her highly endearing combination of brains and beauty - was destined for stardom - or at least a long career as the thinking man's leading lady. Instead, she's forged a path for herself as a writer-director, following up her light comedy "2 Days in Paris" with the even lighter "2 Days in New York," co-starring Chris Rock as her put-upon boyfriend. When her "lovably" obnoxious family flies in for an extended visit, she and Rock have nothing to do but alternate between ineffectual frustration, tiresome bickering, and overly precious antics. "2 Days" feels like 2 weeks; it's a fallen soufflé.

There's also a fair amount of froth in Christopher Honore's non-singers-singing musical "Beloved," with Ludivine Sagnier (of "Love Crime" infamy) as Madeleine, a shoe salesgirl in 60s Paris and Catherine Deneuve as Madeleine forty years later. But there's also an appealingly wistful sense of the passage of time and a few keen emotional and interpersonal insights. Deneuve has been married to Hubby #2 for decades but, with his permission, hops the train from Reims to Paris from time to time to hook up with her ex. "I love day trips," she tells her daughter. "It works for us." At 139 minutes, however, there's not quite enough of the good stuff.

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