French girl Marion (Julie Delpy, acting like she's still in "Before Sunset") and her American boyfriend Jack (Adam Goldberg, his typical quick-talking intellectual) stop in at her parents' place in Paris before heading back to New York. Gradually, Jack starts to suspect that Marion has had far more experience than she lets on and may have cheated on him.
Big question: In what's essentially Delpy's feature directorial debut (she did a little movie called "Looking for Jimmy" in 2002), can she add more thoughts on European romance than she already has by appearing in "Before Sunrise" and starring in and co-writing "Before Sunset"?
Skip it: The script can be funny, but Marion and Jack never seem to click. Plus, the movie doesn't work to show how two potentially mismatched people can last two years together. As secrets and white lies pull them apart, "2 Days in Paris" tries to explore the way that everyone looks at the world differently but doesn't see its own characters clearly.
Catch it: If you can relate to the American tourists that receive phony directions from Jack after he finds out that the group is only there to seek out "Da Vinci Code" locations. Is it so wrong to search high and low for Tom Hanks in a mullet?
Bottom line: Viewers may be disappointed when they realize not only that "2 Days in Paris" isn't a Paris Hilton sex tape but that Delpy has already exhausted her insight about relationships. She's got flashes of cleverness, though, when dealing with paranoia--about terrorism or infidelity--and the way that the language barrier can be used on purpose to keep people out.
Bonus: Apparently, many French citizens still take their temperature with a rectal thermometer. Something to note for any Americans who made plans to flee the U.S. after seeing "Sicko."
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
'2 Days in Paris'
Written, directed, edited and music by Julie Delpy; photographed by Lubomir Bakchev; production design by Barbara Marc; produced by Christophe Mazodier, Delpy and Thierry Potok. A Samuel Goldwyn Films release; opens Friday at Landmark Century Centre Cinema, Highland Park Renaissance Place and Cinearts Evanston. Running time: 1:36. MPAA rating: R (for sexual content, some nudity and language).
Marion - Julie Delpy
Jack - Adam Goldberg
Anna - Marie Pillet
Jeannot - Albert DelpyCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times