French Marion and American Jack spend two anguished days in Paris (hence the name!) visiting her wacky family and enduring awkward encounters with Marion’s myriad of ex-lovers. While Goldberg’s anxious and sarcastic Jack has garnered comparisons to Woody Allen, it’s really Delpy’s basket case of a character that more closely resembles the notoriously neurotic director. Though it may be more accurate to say Marion is a modern French version of an Allen character portrayed by Diane Keaton – a composite of Louise Bryant in Reds and the title character from Annie Hall.
I didn’t realize while watching it that Delpy’s real mother and father play her fictional parents in the film. They are obviously the source of Julie’s clever wit. Marie Pillet is charmingly bizarre as her melodramatic mother, who giddily reveals she was once lover to a certain deceased rock icon. Albert Delpy plays Marion’s inquisitive and somewhat perverted father who is as susceptible to angry outbursts as he is to maniacal laughter.
Poor Jack is soon subjected to the ridicule of his in-laws over a photograph depicting a certain risqué balloon display. A similar photo and the aforementioned parade of ex-lovers serve as catalyst for the disintegration of Jack and Marion’s already strained relationship, as Jack sees Marion in a new, wanton light.
In between the relationship and familial mayhem are several seemingly inconsequential yet extremely hilarious moments. Sexual blunders, personifications of American and European stereotypes, and most entertaining of all is the brief appearance of a very creepy man on a subway platform.