Sundance in Chicago: 2 Days in New York

So it’s been an extended weekend for me, ranging from last Friday to this past Monday. I have been incredibly busy, but I’m happy to be back to posting today.

Last Thursday, I got the opportunity to attend the Sundance Film Festival . . . in Chicago. I would have loved to attended the actual festival in Park City, but I settled for Chicago, one of the nine cities that Sundance sends a film from the festival to be screened. Chicago was the recipient of Julie Delpy’s second Sundance film, 2 Days in New York. Back in 2007, the festival showcased 2 Days in Paris, Delpy’s prequel to this year’s film. I had not seen 2 Days in Paris–and still haven’t–yet I was able to very much enjoy New York.

Screened at Chicago’s Music Box Theater, 2 Days in New York was a hit. It was cool to sit among the other 640 something people for the movie experience. Co-writer and star Alexia Landeau attended and answered questions for the Q/A session following the film. Then, the film’s director, writer, and star–Julie Delpy–appeared on the screen via Skype, and continued with the session.

I won’t review the film in its entirety, but I will say that 2 Days in New York is worth a watch for those of you out there who enjoy comedy. I don’t think I’ve ever attended a film that garnered as many laughs as New York  did. Delpy’s father, Albert, actually played her French-speaking father, who shared some hilarious scenes with Chris Rock, each struggling to understand one another. Delpy explained in the Q/A session that those scenes were very real considering that her father speaks little to no English, and Rock isn’t exactly a multilingual guy who majored in French at college.

The film had its ups and downs. There were some parts that didn’t seem to quite fit together all too well with the plot (such as the scene where she sells her soul to Vincent Gallo!), while other scenes sparked hilarity, such as Delpy using the excuse of having a brain tumor to get her neighbor to lay off calling the police for the noise her French family caused. Wholly original, 2 Days in New York is a fun ride, but not incredibly memorable. It lacks a certain kind of emotion to make a viewer care, but it has enough poise to let you enjoy the film and laugh along with it.

It was nice to see Rock play straight to the Delpy’s hilarious protagonist. New York is a different film altogether that you probably haven’t seen. There may be bits and pieces of it that you’ve seen in other comedies, but New York has a mind of its own, in a playful, unique kind of way.

Even GQ took notice of  Delpy’s hilarious performance, including her in their top 15 performances of the festival. Also, be sure to check out EW‘s hilarious portraits of the cast. The film is released in theaters on March 28, 2012.

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13 thoughts on “Sundance in Chicago: 2 Days in New York

  1. “2 Days In Paris” was one of the movies I harmlessly enjoyed while watching it but pretty much forgot about the instant I stopped the DVD. Yet, I find myself thinking I’ll probably this watch this one at some point too.

    By the way, what’s it like seeing a movie at the Music Box with 640 other people? I’ve never been there when it’s that full. I’ve always wondered if a packed house would be uncomfortable.

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    • Haha, that sounds like the reaction I had to 2 Days in New York. If you enjoyed Paris, I think you’ll like New York too. Plus, Rock is hilarious in it, even playing straight to all the comical people.

      You know, it’s nothing too crazy! A friend and I got in line behind probably 40-50 other people, and when we got in, we ended up sitting in the fourth row! Everyone else seemed to be heading toward the back, strangely enough. Without having the stadium seating, I can’t imagine wanting to sit that far back. The place was definitely packed, as you said. Just not to the extent of not having the occasionally empty seat her or there. It was actually really enjoyable having so many people there. It felt like an exclusive deal, but at the same time, when there was laughter–the place erupted. Every reaction you felt during the film was magnified having so many people in attendance. Definitely a fun time!

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  2. I really do hope to get down to Sundance one year and see some of these great films as they premiere (also just to soak up the overall festival vibe)!

    I like your take on the experience – a bit about what the film’s about, a bit about the overall experience of the screening – exactly what I want from festival coverage.

    Good post!

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      • I forgot to mention earlier, but kudos on adding the comment subscription feature to your site. Prepare for dialogue!

        As much as I do want to get to Sundance someday, I think the last thing I need right now is another film festival to take part in. Four in a year might be my limit – and I’m already bracing myself since I got an email about applying as media fort the first one in 2012 this morning!

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  3. I think Delpy’s just that little bit adorable. I used to really enjoy watching Chris Rock, but that’s somewhat waned over the past few years. Though this doesn’t sound too bad. In fact, think I might give it a try when it makes its way here.

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    • She really is. I think there’s a big of humor in there for just about anyone who watches it. Plus, it’s definitely a different role for Chris Rock, so you may turn out to like him in this one. Let me know what you think of it when you see it eventually!

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  4. Sounds good and a great screening to get in to. Can’t wait to see Delpy doing the funny and Rock taking th straighter role. Should be very interesting. Hope this gets a big release.

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