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2 Days In Paris – delectable Julie delights

Specs: Julie love yours - hate his

Specs: Julie, love yours - hate his

2 Days In Paris – Julie Delpy

Confession: I love Julie Delpy. My wife knows. We are on a fantasy quid pro quo with Julie for me and Luvly Lee Mead (the sickeningly handsome, sickeningly talented, sickeningly nice Joseph) for her. I only share this embarrassing revelation with you dear reader as a warning that my usual renowned rigorously critical objectivity may be compromised by a love that dare speak its name. My philosophical detachment blown away by unrequitable passion. My inamorata is both so sexy and such fun!

And there is a lot of Julie to love in this quirky, sharp, unsentimental, delightful tease on the way in our culture love, sex, and emotional intimacy is deeply bound up with nationality, ownership, possession, and the jealousy that flows from them. The delectable Ms D (I’ll stop in a minute, don’t want my obsession to put you off a great little movie). The lady wrote, directed, stars in it and just to keep it in the family, has her Mum, Dad and even her curiously goggle-eyed almost thespian bloody cat in it. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Miss D even made the tea and drove the trucks. She certainly did the music.

My amatory interest was aroused by the innocently direct Celine in one of the most romantic films ever made, Before Sunrise; then my passion was whetted with the matured Celine in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset which Julie and co-star Ethan Hawke helped to write. 2 Days in Paris is all Miss Delpy. And I am lost. I loved it. And in case you are now pissed off with my masculine patheticness (patheticnicity?), so did my wife and my daughter (both taking a few hours off from Luvly Lee – we should start a support group – the Lee Mead Widowers Society ). New York based, quirkily independent Marion and lugubriously handsome Jack (Adam Goldberg) have been together for two years. Time for the first lovingly burnished shine of new love to have been slightly dulled by Adam’s disposition to hypochondria-light (allergies, migraines, and vague ‘not-wellnessness’ that conveniently coincides with situations he doesn’t want to deal with). Christ he only needed dyslexia to have a full set. They arrive in the film from two weeks in Italy, mostly Venice, which appears to have been more a challenge to Adam’s immune system than his romantic passion. Diarrhoea lacks romantic resonance I guess. With the blindness of love, Marion finds this in my view, terminal wimpishness, merely endearing and they move on to spend two days with her parents in Paris so that Jack can meet them and the cat.

Delicious culture shock looms. The now US–resident Miss D has a very articulate and witty foot placed in both national cultures and the essence of the humour and stylish fun of 2 Days is her perceptive, teasing mockery of the absurdities of both. From Jack’s casual misdirection of a bunch of fellow Americans to an endless, fruitless search in the wrong direction for the Louvre justified by their ‘support Bush’ Tee-shirts and a desire to get nearer the front of the taxi rank; to Marion’s laid-back attitude to her, shall we say adventurous love-life before she met Jack. The clash of attitudes is perfectly expressed by a matter-of-fact admission from Marion that she once gave an old flame, now florist Manu, a blow-job, with all the insouciance of someone giving directions to the Gare du Nord. Jack somewhat acidly observes that this definitive act of feminine generosity, blew, so-to-speak, the hopes of a genuine US liberal democracy out of the water in the Clinton years.

Things just get worse for fish-out-of-water-in-France Jack as half the male population of Paris appear to have been on how-shall-we-say, more than distant hand-shake terms with the increasingly sexually amnesiac Marion. A chance meeting with a more recent old flame in a restaurant has Marion incandescent with rage leading to her and the linguistically-challenged, totally bemused Jack being physically removed from the premises. Here male Anglo-Saxon reason and logic shipwrecks helplesslessly on the unfathomable rock of a beautiful Frenchwoman’s heart. 2 Days In Paris is romance for modern savvy adults. Stylish, witty, perceptive and persistently laugh-out-loud funny, it engages you from the start and never outstays its welcome. Miss D avoids all the dangers of sentimentality and in Marion creates a very real woman that many of us poor sap men will have encountered. Elusive, unreadable, inconsistent, delightful, sexy as hell, perplexing, f***ing impossible, and absolutely irresistible. The perfect illustration that love is the knowing, self-infliction of exquisite, irrational, totally incomprehensible pain. The absurdity of life and love is what makes it all so precious.

07899 207645. Call me Julie. Call me.

Zettel (2007)

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