The Valet

As you already know, I love movies where you can find characters to root for. "The Valet" ("La Doublure") has a script FULL of them!

What a joy! A billionaire industrialist (Daniel Auteuil "The Closet" and "Cache") is thoroughly taken with his gorgeous supermodel girlfriend. She is devoted to him, they have a regular place to meet and his life is very, very good. A photographer for a local tabloid snaps a picture of them as they go to their limo, with an oblivious parking lot attendant also captured in the shot.

This hapless parking valet (Gad Elmaleh, who looks like a younger version of my former brother-in-law Frank Morrison) is a droopy-eyed fellow, totally in love with a young woman who owns a nearby bookstore. She has just rejected his proposal of marriage. The billionaire's attorney spots the fellow in the picture and the two connivers hatch a plot, foisting off the parking valet as the man who was REALLY accompanying the supermodel. Auteuil's motive is crystal clear, he can't afford a divorce because his clever wife, Kristen Scott Thomas ("Four Weddings and a Funeral," "The English Patient" and "Gosford Park") controls 60% of their holdings.

Once the financial details are in place, the parking valet and the super- model have to present the image of "a couple" to the outside world. My biggest pleasure was seeing what decent and smart people these two pawns are shown to be. If either of them had shown the slightest chink in their goodness, this movie would never have worked.

The valet's baffled parents can only stand to one side and try to figure out what in the world is going on. As an aside, the father collects bottle openers and he mentions -- with PRIDE! -- that he has been invited to a dinner on Wednesday to talk about his collection. Please, please see my review of "The Dinner Game!" ...a little insider joke...

I liked this movie a LOT! Of course, my main reason for seeing it in the first place was because I adore Francis Veber's movies: ("Les Comperes," "La Chevre" and "Three Fugitives"). His movies always have heart...