Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Case for Being Deeply Delpy

2 Days in Paris is the first film written and directed by French actress (actor?) Julie Delpy. Considering the last film she assisted in putting together was Before Sunset, I was looking forward to a talky film about quirky people with lots to say and occasional depth. I was not disappointed.

But nor was I blown away. Evidently, foremost in Ms Delpy’s mind is strange $exual obsessions, transferred in this film to her character’s parents and to most of her friends. Meanwhile, the main characters are fairly paranoid, occasionally neurotic, and lots of fun if you can handle their self-obsession.

But for all that, I appreciated the assemblage of fairly random events strung together by the common thread of the examination of the lead characters’ relationship. Paris is the backdrop of the film and gives Delpy the chance to speak a whole lot of French and introduce American audiences to her view of her city. And the people they meet, from militant fairies to redneck taxi drivers, are all fascinating.

In the end, I left the cinema both ready to throttle the people next to me who arrived half an hour late and talked most of the way through the film, but also quite happy with the “slice of lifeishness” of the film. It’s not one I would rush out to see again, as it is far too unfocussed and lacking in magic moments for that, but it is one I am glad I went to see. I felt disappointed that the end resolved itself in a five minute monologue, but looking back, the monologue summed up what would usually take four hours or more to work through. And while the characters were all extreme to some extent, they were all shown as fairly flawed and felt all fairly human - a feat that is not always that easy to achieve.

Verdict: An enjoyable 100 minutes, though not for everyone. 36 hours out of 48.

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