Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Valet

Every film festival has a French farce. This year it is ‘The Valet’ by the director of ‘The Dinner Game’ and ‘The Closet’. As you would expect from a director of this pedigree there are plenty of laughs and no false notes. A CEO (Daniel Auteuil of course) is photographed in the street with his mistress (the stunning bubbly blonde Alice Taglioni) scared of his stock owning wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) he tries to pass off the supermodel as the girlfriend of the passer by in the photo, a car parking valet (Gad Elmaleh). This far fetched plan doesn’t fool the wife who soon turns the tables and the screws on her husband, as does the increasingly disenchanted mistress. On the flip side of the story the hapless car parking attendant finds it difficult to explain his sudden, new ‘live-in girlfriend’ to his flatmate, boss, parents and his childhood sweetheart (the cute local GP’s daughter who doesn’t want to marry him but still has a sweet spot for him).

But, it almost pulls its punches. Farcical opportunities are let slip, awkward situations are magically resolved off-screen and the presence of Kristin Scott Thomas (although playing her haughty role very well) suggests to me that possibly the film makers are aiming for a less demanding possibly non-French audience. Though there is a passing reference to ‘The Dinner Game’ for you to watch out for.

Ian’s Rating 4/5 Anne's rating 3/5

1 comment:

  1. I thought that rather than trying to cater for a non-french audience, the makers were pandering to a perceived preference for american-style films by french audiences.

    I didn't think this was a bad film, but if you want to see a french farce, there are much better ones, with more physical comedy amd more developed plots.