Julie Delpy directs, at last

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During recent interviews, Julie Delpy has talked openly about the challenges she faced finding support for her new film 2 Days in Paris, challenges she relates to — you guessed it — being a woman in a man’s business. But today, 20 years after she wrote her first screenplay, Delpy’s perseverance pays off. After successful film festival screenings, 2 Days hits New York and Los Angeles with a good bit of critical fanfare.

Since I am no longer living in one of the chosen markets, I won’t be able to see this film just yet, but I know I will as soon as I have the chance. Sure, it sounds very, very straight (it focuses on a rapidly deteriorating hetero couple, and Delpy herself says “it’s about my empathizing with men”), but hey, some of my best friends are straight.

I’ve been a fan of Delpy since her incredible turn as a lipstick lesbian at the club in But I’m a Cheerleader. Wait — I mean since I first met her in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy (one of which made Scribe’s list of great inaction movies, along with honorable mentions Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, both starring Delpy). And since her talents do not seem to be limited to acting (she wrote, directed, starred in and did the music for 2 Days), I don’t see my fandom changing anytime soon.

2 Days co-stars Adam Goldberg, Delpy’s real-life parents Marie Pillet and Albert Delpy, and Daniel Brühl; in it, neurotic Marion and hypochondriac Jack try to survive two days with her family in Paris, buffeted by cultural differences (he’s an American, she’s an expat Frenchwoman) and ubiquitous exes (all belonging to her and inspiring no mild jealousy in the current beau).

In an attempt at logical flow, I should post the trailer now, but I do want folks to go see this movie, and the reviews are ten times more intriguing to me. (If you must see why now, go ahead and jump to the end.)

Huffington Post‘s Melissa Silverstein calls the film “a resounding success,” and Cinematical describes 2 Days as “charming, hysterical and sometimes gut-wrenching,” and warns viewers that “if you’re not wiping off tears of laughter and heartache by the time the end credits roll […] you’re simply not human.” According to The New York Times, the performances by Delpy and Goldberg in the “audacious” film are “so assured and spontaneous that they don’t even seem to be acting.”

Although Delpy claims she never thought of Woody Allen while making the film, the comparisons are flooding in — and not just because of Marion’s glasses.

Delpy’s take on her character is repeatedly described in terms of Diane Keaton; the Village Voice observes that “Delpy invokes the Woody Allen–Diane Keaton chemistry of the ’70s as consciously as Allen referenced the European art movies of the ’60s.” And Slate calls the film “Before Sunset by way of Annie Hall. And that’s OK.”

Not all of the reviews are glowing; EW gave it a B-, praising Delpy’s “funny and diverting improv-y flow” while disliking its dependence on the “high-concept joke of Goldberg’s testy jealousy over her past love affairs.” The harshest, perhaps, is the Reelviews opinion, that the movie “isn’t about much” and “doesn’t offer enough to make it interesting or even diverting.”

Even still, things are looking good overall. Rotten Tomatoes gives 2 Days a score of 81, and most everyone has at least something good to say. My only concern stems not from the reviews, but from the trailer:

 

Anything that starts off with a riff on the old “Do I look fat?” paranoia gives me pause, and the trailer doesn’t exactly make me laugh. But since the film was made by Delpy — who claims to “shun gyms” and “doesn’t give a damn about fashion” — I’m willing to assume that the joke, and the movie, come across better when seen as a whole.

Has anyone out there seen it yet? Can you give me hope that all the good reviews are right?

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