According to online language tools, the title Meet the Fockers roughly translates to Rencontrer les Fockers in French. I bring this up only because Parisian-born actress Julie Delpy (Before Sunset) essentially has made a French-flavored version of that comedy with 2 Days in New York, which she directed and co-wrote.
2 Days plays for exactly that, Friday and Saturday, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Delpy stars as Marion, an art photographer on the eve of her biggest gallery show in years. Any anxiety is tempered by her loving and supportive boyfriend, Mingus (comedian Chris Rock), a talk-radio host who lives with her and their two children from previous partners.
While mixed families hardly
make for novel setups these days, consider this: Rock’s character is
the most grounded in the entire film.
comforting presence, however, is threatened by the arrival of her
widowed father (her real-life dad, Albert Delpy) and her sister
(co-writer Alexia Landeau) from France. Dad understands little to no
English, and refuses to shower anywhere but the kitchen sink. Sis is a
nympho exhibitionist who, without asking, brings along Manu (Alex Nahon,
credited with “additional dialogue”), who happens to be Marion’s ex.
all the French characters come with quirks intact, Manu’s is that he
wants to score weed and smoke it in Marion and Mingus’ apartment, kids
Guess what? Wackiness ensues. With the exception of Rock, all are reprising their roles from Delpy’s 2007 film, 2 Days in Paris. Having
seen that earlier picture is not a requirement of this
all-in-the-family farce; I didn’t even realize this was a sequel until
Any laughs in 2 Days in New York —
and they are there — are generated by Rock’s blank-faced, perplexed
reactions to the slovenly, immature antics of the family, as if he can’t
believe his beloved could be related to them.
couldn’t believe how someone as bright and creative as Delpy resorts to
sitcom-style subplots — from their attempts at sex being interrupted to
a phony brain-tumor scare that escalates into One Big Misunderstanding. These elements are as contrived as those found on your average ABC half-hour series.
And yet, instead of delivering a restrained performance as one usually finds from her, Delpy seems really open and free.
Wouldn’t you watch Delpy in a sitcom? I would. At least for a few weeks’ trial run.