The Valet is a remake of a film by the same name from 2006 with an almost identical plot, as well. Having not seen the 2006 film though, count me in for visiting the original soon down the road if it is anything as pleasantly surprising as Richard Wong’s remake. The Valet is equal parts charming, fun, and funny. With a stellar cast and some truly eye-opening perspectives, The Valet delivers everything the typical romantic comedy enthusiast can expect from a film like this.
The Valet focuses on movie star Olivia, played by Samara Weaving, as she is having an affair with billionaire Vincent Royce, played by Greenfield. His wife, Kathryn, played by Betsy Brandt, has no concrete proof or anything further than suspicions. That is until Olivia and Vincent get into an argument and the paparazzi snap a photo of the two of them as Olivia’s getting into a car. However, they’re not alone as valet-by-day Antonio, played by Eugenio Derbez (as some people may know him as Bernardo from CODA), crashes into Olivia’s car. As Olivia tries to assist him and assure that he is in fact okay, the paparazzi capture him, tying him into the illicit affair. When Vincent is remanded by Kathryn, he explains that Antonio is in fact Olivia’s boyfriend and that he, Vincent, was just being a concerned citizen at the scene. Thusly, a plan to pay off Antonio to portray Olivia’s boyfriend is set in motion and a true comedy of errors unfolds throughout The Valet.
When romantic comedies come out to the masses, it is critically important that the two leads have chemistry, and one of them, if not both, has to deliver some truly comedic gold. Thankfully, the chemistry between Samara Weaving and Eugenio Derbez is truly palatable as the film goes on, even though their relationship is a sham just for her to protect her boyfriend. The Valet certainly encourages one to seek out Derbez’s comedy (he is also a comedian by trade atop of being an actor) as the candid deliveries of his lines are not only insightful, but provide such comedy and pack that punch. Weaving also plays the self-absorbed-Hollywood-elitist-who-now-finds-herself-in-a-“relationship”-with-someone-from-a-completely-different-walk-of-life to a tee as she slowly but surely discovers herself along the way and has a self-defining journey. However, the most surprising character in the movie is that of Vincent. Greenfield tends to play the best friend, the love interest, the good guy, etc., etc., but, this time, he’s a despicable villain, in a sense. It is definitely a change of pace for Greenfield and one that he plays rather well, showing that he doesn’t always have to be the nice guy.
The Valet packs a lot of heart, comedy, and love into its tight hair-over-two-hour run time which doesn’t feel nearly as long as it is. Most romantic comedies that run over 90 minutes drag and feel longer than they need to be, but The Valet finds that rarity of 120-plus minutes that works for it and manages to deliver more than just the standard run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. There is so much heart and perspective in this movie that is shown between the characters themselves, and that later connects with the audience on a larger level, than initially expected from the surface. Richard Wong, along side screenwriters Bob Fisher and Rob Greenberg, certainly manages to delight the audience and provide the unexpected treat for this spring season.
Available for streaming on Hulu May 20th, 2022.
Final Score: 3.5 out of 5.
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