(2012, English and French) If Woody Allen were half French and female, he might have written and directed this wacky romantic comedy in Manhattan: "Just a love story with a happy ending." Instead, Julie Delpy did, with Alexia Landeau and Alexandre Nahon's collaboration on the hilariously manic story and screenplay.
"If you live your life with one person only, one day they'll be gone or you'll be gone. And one of you will be left all alone in the cold world. The family we are born in eventually vanishes. By then, you've created your own family if you're lucky. First, you have to choose the person you'll build this family with and stick to it as much as possible. How many tries do you get before you strike out? When my mother died just a few hours before the end, she looked into my eyes and she had the expression of a little girl who didn't know what was happening to her. The same as when Lulu was born. Something totally pure. So I guess, we can do all the growing up we can, in the end, at the core, we stay the same. But before that sad ending that awaits all of us, maybe we can share beautiful, ephemeral moments with the people we love."
Following her breakup with Jack (from 2 Days in Paris), Marion Dupre (Julie Delpy) with her son Lulu shares a small apartment with boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock) - whom Lulu calls "fake daddy" - and Willow, his daughter from a previous relationship. The couple met at The Village Voice; in addition to writing articles for the newspaper, Mingus, a host on three talk-radio programs, engages in monologues with President Barack Obama, in the form of a large cutout in his office.
To celebrate her first art-photography exhibit at the Susan Kellner Gallery on October 31st, Marion's widowed father Jeannot (Albert Delpy, her actual papa) and sister Rose (Alexia Landeau) arrive from France along with Rose's unexpected beau Manu (Alexandre Nahon). After a four-hour delay at the airport - customs officials confiscated 30 pounds of sausage from Jeannot - Manu introduces himself as Marion's "ex."
In addition to the photos, Marion will be selling her soul to the highest bidder (in hopes of $10,000) as a conceptual piece. Mingus takes Jeannot, who speaks and understands very little English, to a spa for a massage.
During a dinner party, with Mingus's sister Elizabeth among the guests, neurotic Marion ("I can't believe we have the same genes") and crazy Rose bicker (employing vulgar epithets) while Manu (saying he regrets he wasn't born black, because that would be cool, though he's Jewish) intentionally mistranslates the conversation between Mingus and Jeannot; a drug dealer comes to the door with marijuana Manu ordered, upsetting Mingus (who says he doesn't indulge) and creating a confusing scene (why would someone pay a lot of money for grass?) for an impressionable Willow.
Rose (previously a nympho, according to Marion) freely walks about the flat naked or only partially clothed; she and Manu engage in "freaky sex" in the bathroom with toothbrushes.
After an incident in the elevator, Bella (Kate Burton), a neighbor, complains to Marion that her French guests were smoking pot and acting rudely (when confronted, Rose and Manu deny it) and threatens to have her evicted. To this Marion exclaims she doesn't care since she has stage-4 cancer of the brain, which is why her family has come to see her.
When Bella, remorseful, sends her husband Ron (Dylan Baker), a urologist, to offer the name of an oncologist - though he's soon distracted by Rose's bare derriere - Marion declares she has no health insurance, no hope, while Mingus is caught unawares of Marion's ploy.
After yet another scene of psycho-bitchery between the two sisters in a restaurant, just as Mingus's friend Justin was proposing getting him into a press conference with President Obama, Mingus says to Marion: "I want 'em out!"
Rose exclaims: "America is cool! Can I sell my soul too?" What would it be like to lose your soul? "You know why I don't believe in the Soul?" Marion says after someone has purchased her contract: "Because, the Soul would probably mean an afterlife. And if there was something, my mum would have tried to communicate with me somehow. Even though she knows better than to contact me when I'm home alone at night."
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