Movie Review and Movie Summary The Valet (2022)
Antonio (Eugenio Derbez) works as a valet and lives in a small apartment with his mother (the late, great Carmen Salinas). Antonio is separated from his wife, but he sees the separation as temporary. She, however, has moved on and is dating a big-name real estate agent. There are other characters in Antonio’s busy world: his relatives, colleagues, nephews and nieces, and his mother’s new boyfriend. It’s a very close family. Meanwhile, in a completely different world, movie star Olivia Allen (Samara Weaving) is caught by the paparazzi with married billionaire Vincent Royce (Max Greenfield). A scandal erupts, threatening his business deal and the premiere of his next film “Earhart.” Unknowingly, Antonio – in his valet uniform – is in the background of the tabloid photo, so Vincent comes up with a plan. They’ll pay the valet in the picture to be Olivia’s boyfriend for a while, to prove that Olive didn’t date Vincent, she dated the other guy (a middle-aged valet old enough to be his father).
Antonio, having no idea what he’s getting into, agrees to take the gig. They offer him a lot of money! Money like that could help him get his wife back. Olivia, who has been seen berating her poor assistant Amanda (Tiana Okoye), and generally exhibiting bad behavior and appalling mannerisms, submits to it all as if being led to the stake. Olivia and Antonio go out to lunch together, in full view of the paparazzi, and he also attends the premiere of the film. Antonio is a fish out of water. Olivia has no people skills. Behind the scenes, the complications multiply. Vincent’s wife (Betsy Brandt) is not a tearful victim. She is convinced that the relationship with the valet is a sham, so she hires a private detective to follow the “couple”. Vincent did the same. These two detectives – played by Ravi Patel and John Pirruccello – working for separate sides end up joining forces, and theirs is one of the most interesting relationship arcs in this film filled with relationship arcs.
“Le Valet” is a remake of a 2006 French comedy of the same name. Rob Greenberg and Bob Fisher come to this project with years of comedy experience, individually and together, having written for “Frasier,” “Married with Children”, “The Moody’s”, etc. Fisher wrote “Wedding Crashers”. The two teamed up to write “Overboard,” the 2018 remake of the 1987 comedy (also starring Derbez). Their comedic chops are apparent in “The Valet.” The comedic “situation” of a movie star pretending to date a valet doesn’t bear much fruit. It’s not, say, “The Proposal,” where every scene hinges on the broad pretense that these two unlikely people are now engaged. “The Valet” forgets for long periods that there is even a semblance. Some of the scenes, where Olivia and Antonio are forced to get to know each other, are reminiscent of “Notting Hill,” where Julia Roberts’ movie star, used to looking rarified, hangs out with “real” people and revels in normality. Olivia meets Antonio’s family and they bring her into their circle. Always room for one more. The question of “chemistry”, romantic or otherwise, is not on the table in “The Valet”. No one is likely to fall in love with the fake person in the fake scenario. But something deep is emerging, and it’s happening almost stealthily.