Jack (Adam Goldberg), a 35 year-old interior designer, and Marion (Julie Delpy), his girlfriend of two years, have stopped in Paris for two days on their way home from a romantic trip to Italy. She wants him to show him the city where she was born. Although she is a photographer, he has picked up the habit and has taken scads of pictures of them. Marion, who has a defect in her eyes, wonders whether he is hiding behind the camera. This couple shares a quirky sense of humor, and he also seasons his commentary on everything with sarcasm. Marion is used to the verbal fireworks but sometimes finds his quips hurtful when they are directed at her physical appearance.
Jack is a hypochondriac who is constantly bothered by his allergies, his migraine headaches, and his tendency for easily catch colds. Seeing her apartment above her parent's place, he is immediately worried about the mold on the wall. Her father, Jeannot (Albert Delpy), cooks some braised rabbit for dinner, and Jack goes into a fit when he sees the creature's head on the plate. Having some fun with the American who can't speak French, Jeannot quizzes him on writers from the United States and France. Later her mother, Rose (Alexia Landeau), stops by to talk with Jack after learning that they visited the grave of Jim Morrison of The Doors. She claims to have slept with him in her wild youth. At an art gallery display showing pictures by Jeannot, Jack is not surprised that they are all very erotic. The only one who is not obsessed with sex is Marion's sister Anna (Marie Pillet) who works with children.
2 Days in Paris marks Julie Delpy's debut as a director, and she delivers a very funny exploration of a relationship undergoing severe distress. The writing talent she displayed when she co-wrote with director Art Linklater the film Before Sunset is evident in her screenplay for this film. It is filled with humorous comments on our crazy world and some of the warps of French and American cultures. Some hilarious incidents with talkative cab drivers ring true.
After meeting several men whom Marion dated in the past, Jack gets caught up in the grip of jealousy. He says proudly: "I'm an American. Private property is my first religion." And he means what he says since he takes no interest in Judaism or his ethnic heritage. This idea that Marion is a femme fatale leads to a break in their romantic relationship. Oddly enough, a crazy man (Daniel Bruhl), who turns out to be a fast-food franchise terrorist, is the only one who sees the path that Jack must take with Marion. See 2 Days in Paris for its larky view of cross-cultural clashes and another delightful performance by Julie Delpy.