The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
I once gave flowers to a French girl and was told they were "flagrant." When Marion, the character played by Julie Delpy in "2 Days in Paris" makes mistakes like that, she knows what she's doing. If her relationship with her lover Jack is coming apart at the seams, that's her with a little thimble and needle, pulling out the stitches. The movie covers the end of a European vacation which was intended to mend their relationship, and the holiday has gone badly. Sometimes when you want to know, really know, somebody, you find out that actually you'd rather not.
Jack (Adam Goldberg) had a bad time in Venice. How can that be? Was it Woody Allen who said the worst sex he ever had wasn't that bad? Same with bad trips to Venice. Jack got severe diarrhea, and tried Marion's patience by taking photos of everything, apparently, except the diarrhea itself. Has he never heard of Imodium, that word along with "taxi" and "OK" that gets most Americans around the world? And did he think he was needed to remedy the world's tragic shortage of photos of Venice?
But never mind. The last two days of the holiday are to be spent in Paris, Marion's hometown, before they return to New York, where they now live. They move in upstairs from Marion's parents, Anna and Jeannot (played by Delpy's real parents, Marie Pillet and Albert Delpy). Culture shock sets in at the first meal, braised rabbit. You'd think Anna and Jeannot could try the merciful American tactic of calling it "chicken" but perhaps when you serve the rabbit head along with its eyeballs, it looks like a chicken that has been fed too many hormones.
Marion and Jack wander about Paris, talking in that way that lovers have when they're beginning to get on each other's nerves. But, no, this is not a retread of Richard Linklater's "Before Sunset" (2004), in which Delpy and Ethan Hawke walked and talked around Paris. It is a contemplation of incompatibility, as Paris brings out a side of Marion that Jack has never quite seen: Is she a radical political activist and a shameless slut, or does she only act like one? She runs into old boyfriends so often it makes Paris seem like a small town, and attacks one of them, in a restaurant, for taking a sex vacation to Thailand.