It's a sequel, of course, to 2 Days in Paris, but Salon's Andrew O'Hehir, introducing an interview with Julie Delpy and Chris Rock, assures us that "it really doesn't matter whether you've seen the earlier movie. Jack, the American boyfriend played by Adam Goldberg in 2 Days in Paris, has evidently moved on (leaving behind a young son), and Delpy's character, Marion, is now shacking up with a Village Voice journalist and radio host named Mingus, who has a daughter of his own. (Rock even says the character is based on the prominent African-American journalists Nelson George and Elvis Mitchell.) Rock gets some decent laugh lines, but he isn't doing improv or stand-up material here — although he does deliver two monologues to a cardboard cutout of Barack Obama."
What sets the story in motion is the arrival of Marion's family from Paris for an extended stay. The Boston Globe's Ty Burr: "Dad (Albert Delpy, Julie's own pere) is an old goat, sister Rose (Alexia Landeau, who co-wrote the script) is a tightly-wound nympho, and hanger-on Manu (Alexandre Nahon) is every American's worst idea of a Frenchman, blowing joints in the elevator and borrowing Mingus' toothbrush for unimaginable sexual activities…. Just when you think 2 Days in New York can't get any crazier, Vincent Gallo turns up to buy Marion's soul, and his brief appearance is like a greasy indie benediction to a Sundance that truly needs it. If Woody Allen was a woman and was French — I'm sure he's had dreams about this — and if he loosened up his filmmaking until the comedy started bubbling out of every corner, he might come up with something like this."
At the House Next Door, Michał Oleszczyk sees it, too: "Delpy is expert at pushing generic buttons and serving stale jokes as if she has just come up with them between her morning bagel and an afternoon brioche." She's "definitely succeeded in creating a comic persona, the inspiration for which isn't hard to trace. As you watch her (bespectacled, garrulously neurotic, desperately secular and striving to be 'an artist'), you witness a perfect case of spiritual cloning: Delpy has become, to an almost discomfiting extent, a distaff, semi-continental version of Woody Allen at his warmest and most gentrified."
"The sequel for any comedy threatens the viewer with the possibility of reheated jokes and a stale premise, leading to a lesser run through comic terrain that has already been covered," writes John Lichman at the Playlist. "But Delpy's film is fresh, vibrant and most of all, disarmingly funny."
More from Liza Foreman (Cineuropa), Anthony Kaufman (Screen), Eric Kohn (indieWIRE, B) and Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter). More interviews with Delpy and Rock: Bridgette Bates (Sundance) and Jada Yuan (Vulture), who asks:
Julie, is the Before Sunrise sequel, is that happening?
Delpy: I don't know yet. We'll see if we write it or not. I'm not sure if it's gonna happen. Truly, I have no idea. I mean, really I have no idea. Maybe. I have no idea.