For movie watchers, few things can be more frustrating than films that begin with a sequence of immense promise, only to show over the remainder that the emperor truly wears no clothes. Two new examples come from the horror realm.
Until now, Ethan Hawke was having a wonderful year. Before Midnight, the third leg of his trilogy with director Richard Linklater and actress Julie Delpy, brought waves of critical acclaim and talk of another Oscar nomination for their collaborative screenplay, while The Purge turned a meager investment into a highly profitable box-office take.
Neither a chain of spice stores nor a Food Network program, The Seasoning House is a bleak-as-nuclear-winter thriller set during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. A deaf girl named Angel (Brit teen Rosie Day) is taken from her home by soldiers who shoot her mother dead.
Paul Schrader’s The Canyons opens and closes with a montage of abandoned movie theaters. For this film in particular, that choice strikes one as symbolic in several ways: not only as a comment on the state of the industry, but on the state of The Canyons itself. You’re unlikely to find many 2013 films this empty.
What's a director of classic musicals doing in science fiction? Making Saturn 3, one of the worst of the genre Hollywood made in the immediate post-Star Wars / Alien era. Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) takes to it about as well as you'd expect; he's in over his head.
2 Days in New York 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch okcmoa.com 236-3100 $5-$8
According to online language tools, the title Meet the Fockers roughly translates to Rencontrer les Fockers in French. I bring this up only because Parisian-born actress Julie Delpy (BeforeSunset) essentially has made a French-flavored version of that comedy with 2 Days in New York, which she directed and co-wrote.
2 Days plays for exactly that, Friday and Saturday, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Delpy stars as Marion, an art photographer on the eve of her biggest gallery show in years. Any anxiety is tempered by her loving and supportive boyfriend, Mingus (comedian Chris Rock), a talk-radio host who lives with her and their two children from previous partners.
While mixed families hardly
make for novel setups these days, consider this: Rock’s character is
the most grounded in the entire film.
comforting presence, however, is threatened by the arrival of her
widowed father (her real-life dad, Albert Delpy) and her sister
(co-writer Alexia Landeau) from France. Dad understands little to no
English, and refuses to shower anywhere but the kitchen sink. Sis is a
nympho exhibitionist who, without asking, brings along Manu (Alex Nahon,
credited with “additional dialogue”), who happens to be Marion’s ex.
all the French characters come with quirks intact, Manu’s is that he
wants to score weed and smoke it in Marion and Mingus’ apartment, kids
Guess what? Wackiness ensues. With the exception of Rock, all are reprising their roles from Delpy’s 2007 film, 2 Days in Paris. Having
seen that earlier picture is not a requirement of this
all-in-the-family farce; I didn’t even realize this was a sequel until
Any laughs in 2 Days in New York —
and they are there — are generated by Rock’s blank-faced, perplexed
reactions to the slovenly, immature antics of the family, as if he can’t
believe his beloved could be related to them.
couldn’t believe how someone as bright and creative as Delpy resorts to
sitcom-style subplots — from their attempts at sex being interrupted to
a phony brain-tumor scare that escalates into One Big Misunderstanding. These elements are as contrived as those found on your average ABC half-hour series.
And yet, instead of delivering a restrained performance as one usually finds from her, Delpy seems really open and free.
Wouldn’t you watch Delpy in a sitcom? I would. At least for a few weeks’ trial run.