There's a lot wrong with French star Julie Delpy's new indie flick, 2 Days in New York, but there's one thing that's very, very right: Chris Rock.
As Mingus, Rock is the saving grace of an often disjointed mess of a film, a screwball comedy that tries to force quirkiness with brute strength rather than wit. Mingus is the boyfriend of Delpy's Marion, a co-worker from The Village Voice who enters the picture after her break-up with the father of her son (the film is actually a sequel to 2 Days in Paris, also written and directed by and starring Delpy, which follows this earlier relationship). "Was it pity?" asks Marion in a voiceover of their romance. "Was it love? Was it my innocent comment about a blow job?"
At the final installment of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Talk Cinema series on Tuesday, the audience is laughing - but it's a stilted laugh, a knee-jerk response to surprise and embarrassment (like a first-grader who hears the word "underpants"), or a desperate attempt to make the time pass more quickly by at least performing enjoyment.