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TWO DAYS IN PARIS

Director: JULIE DELPY

FRANCE-GERMANY • 2006 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DTS STEREO • 96 MIN


ALTHOUGH THERE ARE ECHOES OF WOODY ALLEN AND RICHARD LINKLATER IN THIS STORY OF A THIRTYSOMETHING COUPLE ON HOLIDAY IN HER HOME CITY, ITS OFF-KILTER COMEDY AND UNCOMFORTABLE INSIGHTS GIVE ACTRESS JULIE DELPY’S FIRST FEATURE AS A DIRECTOR A FLAVOUR ALL OF ITS OWN.
In the opening moments we think we’ve got this couple all worked out. He (Adam Goldberg) is the neurotic, philistine Yank who’s going to ruin the tail-end of their European jaunt because he’s just too crass to appreciate the French capital, while she’s a flaky but gamine aesthete with delightfully eccentric parents and frankly he’s lucky to have her. Right? Well, as we soon learn, it’s not quite so straightforward. What’s terrific about the writing and performances is that they really convey the nitty gritty of what it’s like living in each other’s pockets. Yes, the bowel complaints, the irritating personal tics, the sexual hang-ups (are French condoms really that small?), make the movie far more grungily intimate than Woody and Diane Keaton ever were. This sets the scene for an engaging reversal, as we sense there yet may be something in his suspicions that she has a sex-crazed boyfriend on every corner of her old arrondissement and her Tyson-like combative volatility is far from charming, but a serious liability. True, Delpy’s film displays the occasional glitches of a film-maker still learning her craft, but its welcome quotient of both laughout-loud gags and little moments which will have couples wincing in recognition prove more than ample compensation.—Trevor Johnston.

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