The Valet

The Valet ★★★

The Valet is a remake of the French film of the same that came out around 15 years ago. As romantic comedies go The Valet is more likeable than it is funny, and it’s drawbacks are elevated by the fantastic chemistry between Samara Weaving and Eugenio Derbez.

This is set out to poke fun at the idea of the celebrity lifestyle in a human and understandable way, and in that it succeeds. The character of Antonio is a relatable gateway into the higher lifestyle of Olivia, for example when we see her not eating enough and her reactions to the paparazzi this doesn’t alienate the audience but instead Weaving’s performance and the sympathetic writing allow for the characters’s problems to be relatable. The film finds a fun and surprisingly sympathetic way of exploring the disparity between the working class and celebrities. This is elevated by the common understanding developed between Antonio and Olivia, a romance isn’t necessary for the narrative to work well around the two characters. The film isn’t overly funny, some humour certainly misses but at its worst the writing is still relevant and feels current. 

It is overly long, some scenes feel too stretched out, particularly the red carpet scene which feels never ending. There’s no need for this to be over 2 hours, ironically there’s a line in the film which relates to this, when Benny says the play they watched was “good, long but good”. The disruption of the narrative equilibrium feels quite forced, the film is moving at a consistent pace and tone and suddenly Antonio has a change in attitude in order for the story to heighten its stakes. The heartfelt moments work well and the ensemble cast is used excellently with every side character having meaning.

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