Light French Farce
Release Date: April 20, 2007
Starring: Gad Elmaleh, Alice Taglioni,
Daniel Auteuil, Kristin Scott
Thomas, Richard Berry,
Virginie Ledoyen, and Dany
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 85 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Francis Veber
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Patrice Ledoux
Writer: Francis Veber
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833
Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
The story opens with a billionaire, Pierre, trying to hide his beautiful supermodel girlfriend, Elena, from his wife, who controls Pierre's business. One day, a celebrity photographer on the street takes Pierre and Elena's photo while Francois, a restaurant valet, passes. Pierre lies to his wife that he doesn't know Elena and that Elena was actually with Francois.
Francois, who thinks he needs money to win the love of a struggling female bookstore owner, agrees to pretend to be Elena's boyfriend for a large sum of money. Of course, Pierre's wife is not buying any of this, and that's when the comic fun takes off. Some of the funniest scenes, however, come in the reactions of people to the average-looking Francois suddenly dating a beautiful supermodel.
THE VALET is fairly entertaining, but the script is a little lightweight. It could use more comic jeopardy to make the comedy stand out even more strongly. Thus, it is doubtful that this French movie will attract much of an audience in the U.S. among teenagers or adults, the audience most likely to see it.
The movie also has some foul language (14 obscenities), and the plot involves a story of adultery and deceit. Although Pierre is lampooned and criticized for the way he treats his wife and his mistress, the mistress, Elena, is left off the hook a bit, even though she wants Pierre to divorce his wife so she can have him for herself. Elena, however, treats Francois decently and tries to help him with the other girl, so she does have some positive moral traits. Her decency inspires Francois, the most decent character in the story, to come to her rescue when Pierre turns mean. Finally, there is one comic scene where Elena and Francois have to retreat to his bedroom for the night, so that the detective spying on them will think that they are lovers. While sleeping in his tiny bed while dressed, Francois rolls over and inappropriately puts his hand on Elena's chest while he's dreaming of his girlfriend.
Overall, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for THE VALET, especially for pre-teens.
THE VALET is fairly entertaining, but the script is a little lightweight. It could use more comic jeopardy to make the comedy stand out more strongly. The movie also has some foul language, and its plot involves a story of adultery and deceit. There also is a joke about Francois accidentally and inappropriately touching Elena's chest. Overall, the movie has a mixed worldview, with only some light moral elements. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution, especially for pre-teens.