Ah, those smelly French. Julie Delpy's manic and sort of unsatisfying "2 Days in New York," which reads like a caffeinated version of a Woody Allen comedy, manages to throw in just about every stereotype about visitors from France:
They don't shower. They smell like sausage. They walk around the living room in the nude even in front of people they barely know. They smoke in elevators, scarf up croissants like snuffling pigs and get into fiery wine-induced arguments at the dinner table.
All this is courtesy of the visiting family of Delpy's artist character, Marion, who turns into a predictably neurotic mess when her father, sister and ex-boyfriend come from Paris to stay with her to attend her big Manhattan art opening. (The Fresno Filmworks presentation plays for two screenings today only at the Tower Theatre.)
Sure, there's humor to be mined here, especially when you throw in Marion's uptight American husband, Mingus (Chris Rock in non-comedian mode), but much of "2 Days in New York" is a standard-issue culture-clash comedy.
Delpy stars in, co-wrote and directed the film, which I'd say is at least one job too many. She's appealing as an actress, and her wry comic timing helps keep the proceedings from becoming standard sitcom territory. (Well, mostly.) And the writing is often sharp, with some good zingers about interracial marriages and the pretentious Manhattan art scene.