The first time I read about 2 Days in New York -- the sequel to Julie Delpy's 2 Days in Paris -- what caught my eye wasn't so much the film's two main characters: "hip talk-radio host and journalist Mingus (Chris Rock) and his French photographer girlfriend, Marion (Julie Delpy)." What gave me pause one reviewer's incredulity that the plot of a movie starring an interracial couple wasn't about "the issue" of interracial relationships. Actually, I take that back -- it didn't give me pause; it was more like a blank stare that transitioned into a side-eye.
Well, lest you believe that adult, interracial couples with kids, bills, and jobs simply askew their real-world responsibilities to have racial pow-wows all day (with a racial agenda of course), sitting around acknowledging their "interracial-ness," 2 Days in New York reminds us where these kind of couples actually live: the real world.
For two days Mingus becomes an outsider of sorts in his own home when Marion's father, sister, and her sister's uninvited boyfriend (what one of my friends would refer to as a "R.A.G.": Random A-- Guest) spend two days visiting from France. Mingus is the only person who doesn't speak or understand French and the visit only grows more awkward by the minute: From the RAG's failed attempts to connect with Mingus over Salt-n-Pepa and smoking weed, to the series of unexpected personal displays of affection from Marion's dad which include his triple-cheek kissing and feather-tickling, to the RAG's insistence that Mingus' sister Elizabeth (Malinda Williams) "looks just like Beyonce...only sexier."
Toward the end of the movie, Mingus' observation borne out of frustration is a poignant one: "Ever since your family got here, you've become another person." Sometimes Time heals wounds and sometimes it just delays an inevitable shouting match with your adult siblings over Thanksgiving dinner. It seems no matter how far we advance in age, no matter how far we travel from home, nothing can separate us from the effects of being our parents' child or our brother's or sister's (or no one's) sibling. Now the extent to which we choose to acknowledge or admit these relations is a different matter all together.
2 Days in New York opens in theaters nationwide (kinda) on August 10th. If you're in the Boston-area, you can catch it beginning August 17th at the Kendall Square Cinema 9 in Cambridge. Or you can just do what we did and just suck it up and pay the $9.95 to watch it On Demand.