Blog Directory CineVerse: Romantic fluency is hard to master

Romantic fluency is hard to master

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Romantic couples struggling through a second act of their relationship have been well depicted in several films over the past few decades. One of the most recent worthy outings in this subset of the rom-com subgenre is 2 Days in Paris, written, directed, produced, edited and scored by Julie Delpy, who also stars alongside Adam Goldberg. CineVerse engaged in a group therapy of sorts recently to get to the bottom of this movie's strengths and flaws. Here's a recap:

Movies that come to mind after screening 2 Days in Paris

  • Annie Hall and Manhattan
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • The Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight trilogy starring Delpy
  • Meet the Parents
  • Lost in Translation
  • The sequel 2 Days in New York

What surprised, intrigued, frustrated, or enthralled you about 2 Days in Paris?

  • It felt authentic and believable, thanks in large part to it being written, directed, edited, produced, and scored by Julie Delpy, whose costars include a past boyfriend (Adam Goldbert) and her real-life mom and dad playing this character’s parents Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet.
  • While it was derivative to an extent of some early Wood Allen films—particularly the sexually liberated characters played by Diane Keaton and the neurotic and often irritating analytical personalities portrayed by Allen in Annie Hall and Manhattan—as well as Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy, and it milked the running gag of Marion’s promiscuous past and the offputting nature of some Parisians perhaps too long, the film was entertaining and insightful about the pitfalls of relationships that have survived beyond act one.
  • Refreshingly, the picture didn’t rely on clich├ęs or stereotypes (Roger Ebert wrote that he didn’t think he “heard a single accordion in the whole film”) or famous landmarks like the Louvre or Eiffel Tower in which to rekindle Cupid’s passions. Actually, this film isn’t very romantic at all for a romantic comedy; the emphasis is more on laughs, plenty of them of the uncomfortable sort, and its sexual frankness gives it an edgy cache that sets it apart from a conventional rom-com.
  • However, the ending was abrupt and ambiguous, suggesting either a reconciliation or a breakup softened by happy recollections of better earlier times. Either way, this conclusion has a wobbly, tacked-on, rushed feel.

Themes examined in 2 Days in Paris

  • Skeletons in the closet: Past relationships and proclivities that can haunt a current romance.
  • A stranger in a strange land. This is a fish out of water tale of sorts depicting a foreigner who feels out of place and consistently confused in another country.
  • Relationship incompatibilities that can break up a good thing.
  • Honesty and trust, two virtues that can be elusive in a relationship where each party is culturally, ethnically, and politically different from the other.
  • The impossibility of completely knowing or understanding a significant other, despite intimacy.

Other films directed by Julie Delpy

  • The Countess
  • 2 Days in New York
  • Lolo
  • My Zoe

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