15 June 2009

2 Days in Paris

Another film that uses Paris as a crucial setting, 2 Days in Paris is about love, relationships, and cultural conflict. Two main characters, Jack and Marion, are in love, but the film shows that somehow love is not enough.

What is interesting in this film are national stereotypes that are somehow inflated to the level of intentional absurdity. Marion is French: she is portrayed as temperamental, 'allegedly' promiscuous, and sophisticated. Jack is an cynical
American hypochondriac. However, these stereotypes are not there only to reinforce the difference in characterisation; they become the cause of misunderstanding, expectation, and of course self-realisation. What I like about this film is that Julie Delpy does not only parody these stereotypes, but she also portrays how we still use them in our attempt to understand or make sense of things and people around us.

Even though at times I got exhausted listening to their constant bickering and never-ending dialogues, 2 Days in Paris is beautiful. It shows how Jack and Marion, despite their stereotypical differences, wish to learn and transcend the stereotypical boundaries as deep down they hope that love can somehow conquer this difference. The ending, which for some may seem unrealistic, reflects something about life: that a split second can make or break a relationship. Somehow days or months of rationalising about make-up or break-up may not be important anymore in that split second when one wishes to stop or carry on. In that split second, perhaps indescribable instinct or faith in love counts.

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