Three years after Richard Linklater's 'Before Sunset', Julie Delpy returns to Paris to star in another film that focuses on conversation in the city but although '2 Days in Paris' has its charms, the talking is more acerbic and director/writer Delpy refuses to sugarcoat and romanticise the capital of her home country.

The film follows a 48-hour visit to Paris by French photographer Marion (Delpy) and her neurotic American boyfriend of two years, Jack (Adam Goldberg). The couple, who live in New York, are stopping off to see Marion's friends and family en route home from a not entirely successful holiday in Venice. They bicker their way through the trip, which features meetings with several of Marion's former boyfriends, a series of US-French culture clashes, racist, wife-beating taxi drivers and large dollops of relationship angst.

As well as starring, writing and directing, Delpy also edited, produced, wrote some of the music and sings some of the songs for '2 Days in Paris'. Her parents, Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, take the roles of Marion's parents and even her cat plays himself. It may be self-referential, but it is observed with a keen, caustic eye.

'2 Days in Paris' has more in common with Woody Allen films than Richard Linklater's. Unlike the loveable duo - Delpy and Ethan Hawke - in 'Before Sunset', ditzy Marion and whining Jack irritate each other and, occasionally (and less forgivably), the audience. This quirky arthouse comedy-drama could do with more depth but it is an intriguing debut for Delpy and bodes well for a future off-camera career.

Caroline Hennessy