Dir: Julie Delpy. France/Germany 2006. 96 mins.

Yes, it's another film in which Julie Delpy walks around Paris with an American guy talking about relationships. But despite the surface similarities, the French actress-singer-scriptwriter's first commercial film as director (she herself has described her first feature, the no-budget Looking For Jimmy, as 'more of an experiment') doesn't feel like a mere rerun of Before Sunset. The tone is more comic: Delpy and her co-star Adam Goldberg make a pitch for the talky, neurosis-ridden wit and pace of vintage Woody Allen - and most of the time they hit the spot, though the style of the film, from the dialogue to the visuals, is looser and jazzier than any of Allen's Fall Projects.

Arthouse distributors are likely to take a chance on this small, unassuming audience-tickler, whose deftly mined vein of culture-shock humour will appeal to both sides of the Atlantic divide.

Delpy plays Marion, a French photographer now based in New York, who is on holiday in Europe with her boyfriend of two years, interior designer Jack (Adam Goldberg).

Just back from a dream holiday in Venice which turned tense and fractious, they are now spending two days in Paris in Marion's old apartment, on the floor above her former student-rebel parents, now argumentative bon vivantes (both are played by Delpy's real-life actor parents).

During this Parisian window the hairline fractures in Marion and Jack's rapport turn into large cracks, as Jack is introduced to a stream of ex-boyfriends and discovers Marion's penchant for improvised variations on the facts of her life, otherwise known as lies.

It's Goldman, more than Delpy, who holds up the comedy: he plays Jack as a sort of American Nanni Moretti, touchy, acerbic and riddled with phobias, from the black mould on the wall of Marion's bathroom to rabbit stew to the inadequate size of European condoms.

Though some of Delpy's narrrative voiceovers grate a little - she sounds like she's reading them out loud - she comes into her own in the more dramatic scenes, like a ding-dong slanging match with a racist taxi driver.

The running taxi driver joke (they're either racist or homophobic or sexist, except for one who's a Boris Vian fan) is part of the film's enjoyable teasing of national stereotypes.

It's not just the American in Paris whose uptight puritanism is sent up; the French are parodied to - as when Marion's lascivious bon viveur father subjects his potential future son-in-law to a grilling on major French culture figures, throwing in a trick question to catch him out.

The upbeat, jive-talking shooting style mixes extreme close-ups, handheld footage, still-photo sequences, sped-up film and on-screen graphics in a jazzy but not too distracting way, underlining 2 Days' refusal to take itself too seriously (something that was not always true of Before Sunset and Before Sunrise).

Production companies/backers
Polaris Films

International sales
Rezo Films

Christophe Mazodier
Julie Delpy
Thierry Potok

Executive producer
Nikolaus Lohmann
Tilo Seffert


Lubomir Bakchev

Production design
Barbara Marc

Julie Delpy

Julie Delpy

Main cast
Julie Delpy
Daniel Bruhl
Marie Pillet
Albert Delpy
Aleksia Landau