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It's not very often that I will actually laugh out loud; it's even less often that I will laugh out loud time and time again during the same movie. Two Days In Paris has literally rocked my world, I laughed so hard I almost cried, its without a doubt the funniest movie I have seen this year, mind you at the time of writing the year is only 2 days old.
This Woody Allen'esque comedy is written, directed by and starring French actress Julie Delphy; the Woody Allen similarity goes way beyond the funny glasses that Delphy wears throughout the movie. This incredibly witty, fantastically worked out and written movie cannot help but draw a smile, but be warned in advance it will also horrify hitting home with some very frank sexual imagery and word play that would make a French prostitute blush.
Marion (Julie Delphy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg) have been travelling Europe and the final part of the trip involves a quick two day trip of Marion's home city Paris. The trip has been flawed in a variety of ways, from a lack of sex to Chlamydia of the eye. Jack anticipates the arrival of better times in the world's most romantic city, but what he discovers is a series of misunderstandings, sex literally crawling the walls, and a language barrier he never knew existed.
Two Days In Paris benefits from the simplest of plot devices, a switch of language and a total lack of subtitles. The idea being that rather like American Jack, you have absolutely no idea what's going on when Marion has conversations in her French dialect, this is one movie where a knowledge of French could actually impair the movies humour. The horror for Jack starts no sooner have the couple arrived in France where a variety of Parisians seem to be trying it on with Marion, but more alarmingly it seems that many of them have "prior history" with them.
There is a lot of real magic in the movie, Jack is an incredibly straight-laced individual and Adam Goldberg gives this great realism, you as a viewer laugh but can feel the horror through his eyes. His face when he visits Marion's fathers art gallery is a picture indeed, he slowly slides down from being quite jovial to manically depressed as every picture he is shown displays a continuing scene of depravity. It's incredibly difficult to put the horror from his eyes into writing, so I won't even try but imagine the worst possible thing an old age pensioner can show you and double it.
But it's the misunderstandings that make the movie, nothing new in their design Jack continues to see Marion in a series of disturbing ways that from a long look are entirely innocent, but from a brief glimpse are horrifying; she grabs the wrong things and disappears at the worst of times leaving Jack to wonder "What the hell am I dating?" Because encounters are generally in French, and rather like Jack I did not have a clue about the language you always get the impression that more is going on in a conversation than actually is. The fact that these conversations often get raised and Marion starts behaving like a mad woman don't help to make this look any better.
The timing of the movie is excellent and like the aforementioned Woody Allen in its styling, an offensive subject is served up on a platter of innocence to see quite simply if you notice it. Like Allen's earlier movies Delphy mixes the action with a variety of shots of Paris allowing a stranger to the city, or even a casual visitor to see Paris in a different way. From the vast and elaborate streets, to the slums Delphy never fails to show everything she possibly can.
Delphy has never floated my boat, yes she is very nice to look at but I just find her a little wooden, or should I say I did. Having so much control allows Delphy to appear as she truly is, and as well as being a pretty face she proves to be a great actress with a unique comic timing. And bear in mind she has total control over the whole movie, even down to the casting of the other characters.
Alas the DVD release of Two Days In Paris features a copout for those with limited attention span; there are some scenes in the movie where for more than 5 minutes the dialogue is entirely French with Goldberg's character picking up the odd word and looking horrified. What the DVD does is allow a series of French subtitles to come up during these scenes (but these must be selected by the viewer, they won't come up as standard) I fear that with this sort of temptation some of the magic of the movie will sadly be lost. What to me made the movie work so well was the fact that you really didn't have a clue what was being said, this addition just spoils it.
There are no other special features on the DVD other than a theatrical trailer, and on the ental version a series of trailers for other movies.
In terms of writing I cannot do this film justice, the temptation to recall specific scenes is so strong, that if I spilled them it would spoil the jaw dropping nature of this picture. This is however not one of those movies where all the funny bits are in the trailer, because quite simply there are too many humorous moments that in order for the trailer to include them all, it would have the length of the movie. I'm quite annoyed at myself as I received the DVD for this movie almost three months ago and put it off simply because of Delphy, had I seen it during 2007 it would most definitely have been the best movie I saw during 2007, and having seen it already this evening I'm preparing for a return to the magic of Delphy's Paris really soon. I have searched the internet for reviews for this movie, and I cannot find a bad review anywhere (although one that liked it said it was far too rude).
This DVD is available now for between £11.99 (play.com) to £15.99 HMV retail store price. If you have an adult mind at the very least rent this, believe me you won't regret it
Julie Delpy's breezily hilarious feature follows French-born Marion (Delpy) and Jack (Adam Goldberg), her American ...
Adam Goldberg, Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Marie Pillet, Albert Delpy, Julie Delpy, Adan Jodorowsky, Alexia Landeau, Alex Nahon, Daniel Bruhl, Marie Pillet, Albert Delpy, Adan Jodorowsky, Alexia Landeau, Alex Nahon, Daniel Bruhl