November 27, 2012 -- This very funny, very smart comedy about New York intellectuals meeting a French invasion of sorts is just the kind of comedy that Woody Allen would come up with. The only thing is, this is not a Woody Allen film. Instead, it was written and directed and stars Julie Delpy (this is a follow up to her earlier film, “2 Days in Paris”). This is very impressive work by Delpy. It is as good as some of Woody Allen's work.
Delpy stars as Marion, an artist very nervous before a major studio show in New York City. She lives with her boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock of “Grown Ups”) and her son by a previous marriage, Lulu (Owen Shipman). This crowded apartment is also frequented by Mingus' ex-wife and child, Willow (Talen Ruth Riley) and Willow's grandparents. The crowded apartment gets even more crowded when Marion's father, Jeannot (played by Julie Delpy's real father, Albert Delpy) comes to visit on the eve of her show, along with Marion's sister, Rose (Alexia Landeau of “2 Days in Paris,” in which she played the same character, Rose). An additional unexpected guest is Rose's boyfriend, Manu (Alexandre Nahon, also reprising his role from “2 Days in Paris”). All of them are from France and carry many preconceived notions about America and Americans.
No sooner does Rose get into the apartment than she and Marion start fighting like angry cats. Mingus and Jeannot have to repeatedly step in the stop the cat fights. Manu says all the wrong things and invites a drug dealer to the apartment so he can buy some marijuana. Jeannot is a jolly old fellow, but he gets into trouble when he tries to smuggle sausages into the United States. He also vandalizes a limousine. Jeannot speaks very little English. He and Mingus have a lot of trouble communicating with each other. Jeannot, who smells like his smuggled sausages, refuses to take a bath.
Things come to a head when Marion, frazzled by her visitors, takes it out on a snobbish, but very influential art critic at her show. Her photographs are not selling well to begin with. Manu blunders around at the show and the kids, inspired by Manu's drug purchases, try to sell genuine Central Park “grass” at the art show. Mingus is so annoyed with everyone he withdraws alone to a room where he holds conversations with a cardboard cutout of President Obama. Rose exposes various private parts of her anatomy in public. This comedy of errors continues to the end, but everything turns out O.K. one way or another.
Julie Delpy and Chris Rock both turn in excellent performances as the very harried central characters of this story. Rock is especially good when he runs out of patience and begins to tell people what he really thinks of their behavior. He is not a man to be trampled on. The first half of the film is very funny. It loses some momentum in the middle, but ends on a positive note. This film rates a B.
Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.