Two Days in Paris 3 stars
Starring Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Daniel Bruhl, Albert Delpy and Adan Jodorowsky. Directed by Julie Delpy. Released by Samuel Goldwyn Films. Rated R; 1:34.
You know the couple. Maybe you’ve been the couple. Maybe you are couple. They bicker more than they hold hands. They’re so critical of one another, it’s excruciating to be around them. Why do they stay together? Are these put-downs and let-downs their way of expressing affection? In “Two Days in Paris,” we spend 90 minutes with such a couple, and throughout the slew of arguments while strolling the streets of Paris, we come a step closer to discovering that A) These lovers really do share a deep love and respect for each other; or B) This relationship, built on pure co-dependence, probably crashed and burned soon after the credits rolled.
Writer, director and star Julie Delpy certainly drew from her breakout role in Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” — long takes and heavy dialogue set to the gentle panning of Paris street scenes. But the similarities end there. “Before Sunrise” followed a blossoming relationship taking form in unfamiliar territory. “Two Days in Paris” trails a couple on the worst vacation of their lives.
Adam Goldberg plays Jack, the typical neurotic American tourist. He almost seems annoyed that he’s in a country that doesn’t speak English. Marion (Delpy), however, was born and raised in France and proudly shows Jack her city and, unintentionally, her sordid past. As they run into ex-boyfriend after ex-boyfriend, Paris becomes smaller and smaller to Jack, and he questions what he really knows about this woman he’s been with for two years.
Goldberg’s Woody Allen-like mannerisms and compulsive observations, contrasted with Delpy’s humble, unaffected demeanor, make for a compelling, all-too-familiar story about the many layers of a human relationship.
BY SARA HAVENS