2 Days in Paris Review
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There’s just nothing like a nice, long vacation to put a strain on a relationship—except, maybe, a short visit with family. Marion (Julie Delpy) and her boyfriend of two years, Jack (Adam Goldberg), successfully made it through their two-week vacation in Italy. But when they decide to spend a couple of days in Paris with Marion’s family before returning home to New York, that’s when the real problems start popping up.

Paris isn’t all hearts and flowers and wine and baguettes for Jack and Marion. Instead, it’s just one misunderstanding after another—and, even worse, one ex-boyfriend after another. Jack was neurotic and paranoid enough to begin with—but it only gets worse when he finds himself in a country where he doesn’t speak the language and he definitely doesn’t understand the culture. He has no idea what Marion and her father are arguing about over lunch. He has no clue why Marion’s dad is upset when they tell him they’re going to visit Jim Morrison’s grave. And when they start running into what seems like an endless parade of Marion’s ex-boyfriends, Jack starts losing the trust he once had for her. Suddenly, their romantic stop in Paris turns into a nightmare, filled with lies and jealousy—and neither is sure if they’ll make it back to New York together.

It may sound like a pretty typical romantic comedy—a simple story about a guy and a girl facing one disaster after another, unsure if their relationship will make it out unscathed. But writer/director (and star) Julie Delpy manages to turn 2 Days in Paris into something special—by making it real.

Jack and Marion definitely aren’t the typical, lovably perfect chick flick couple. Jack is no sweet, sensitive hottie. He’s a neurotic hypochondriac who’s sometimes just plain mean (especially to his fellow American tourists). Marion, on the other hand, is a photographer who can barely see. Her hair is out of control, and she wears huge glasses. From time to time, she just zones out. But that’s what makes Jack and Marion a realistic couple. They’re not perfect—but they somehow just work well together. And it helps that Delpy and Goldberg work well together, too. Somehow, they’re believable as a couple (though I’ll admit I had my doubts about Goldberg), and their dialogue is quick and totally comfortable.

But Jack and Marion would just be another quirky couple if it weren’t for Delpy’s blatantly truthful writing. She gives viewers a look into the everyday lives of a normal couple. They have the same random conversations that real couples often have—but they also have the same misunderstandings and pointless arguments that real couples have. They fight, and they come close to giving up, and they have to think about whether it’s all worth the effort. Because real relationships aren’t like chick flick relationships. Sometimes the solutions aren’t so easy. Sometimes there aren’t any answers at all. And falling in love doesn’t mean never having a fight. It means working—and sometimes fighting—to stay together.

Surprisingly, although it’s a totally honest story about the ups and especially the downs of one couple’s relationship, 2 Days in Paris is still quirky and sweet—simple but smart…and entirely enjoyable. See it with someone you love.

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