‘The Valet’ review: Winning remake of 2006’s hit French farce

It’s unlikely everyone was holding their breath for an English language reimagining of Francis Veber’s 2006 French hit “La Doublure”, a very likeable if commonplace farce in which a doorman and a fake supermodel have a romantic relationship so avoid a public relations disaster. But with the help of some doting cultural specificity, a charming cast and sunshiny Los Angeles skies, Richard Wong’s “Come As You Are” proves that a remake can still be a welcome thing from our hearts. days, even in a world oversaturated with them.

Written by Bob Fisher and Rob Greenberg (the duo behind the “Overboard” remake), this sweet, good-natured rom-com should easily find reasonable streaming success when it launches May 20 on Hulu. This version of the story brings its distinctly “Notting Hill” beats to Tinseltown, where the unassuming and socially awkward Antonio (Mexican star Eugenio Derbez, more widely seen late as the endearing music teacher in “Coda”) works as a valet. , a parking lot for the beautiful cars of the wealthy clientele of a posh establishment in Beverly Hills. Still desperately courting his ex-wife Isabel (Marisol Nichols), aspiring to be a good role model for his son Marco (Joshua Vasquez), and trying not to be too embarrassed by his playful and sexually very active mother whom he love (the legendary Carmen Salinas Lozano, in his last screen role before dying in December), Antonio spends his days keeping his head down and succumb to far less than its value.

Elsewhere, the beautiful actress leading Allan Olivia (played by Samara Weaving lively, courageous survivor “Ready or Not”) prepares to present his next film – a biopic of Amelia Earhart feminist – and cares for her new film focuses on women production company. If only she could also lead a rational life in synergy with these good references on paper. But involved in an affair with shady businessman and married Vincent (Max Greenfield), the movie star soon finds himself in an agreement where it needs to pass for the girlfriend of Antonio for a while to calm suspicions of skeptical wife of Vincent, Kathryn (Betsy Brandt). . Both parties get something out Antonio, the funds necessary for academic dreams of his ex-wife whom he deeply held. And Olivia, a name without scandal.

But the ploy is naturally Vincent more than anyone, Kathryn breathing so deeply into her neck she commits even a private detective to expose the false union of Antonio and Olivia. In the original, the character played by Kathryn was sensational Kristin Scott Thomas, who imbued the project its influence effortlessly and his humorous nonchalance. In many ways, it is the charisma of Thomas that kept “The Valet” afloat. Although Wong is not equipped with a powerful presence here in the same role, he manages to focus the appeal of the film otherwise exploiting an emotional core winner Latinx culture at many levels of LA.

There are so many loving details in how “The Valet” depicts Antonio family life, his close relationship with his mother and a support network of American immigrants in which they live. The unique ecosystem of this crown jewel is undoubtedly the mother’s relationship with their own Chinese American, Mr. Kim. None of them speak English, their romance seventies plays first for the foreseeable laughter. But “The Valet” quickly corrected the course and made sure that the public genuinely cares couple of old lovers, made possible by their offspring who generously translated their words. Witness to all domestic affection she has missed in his world Hollywood glamor but superficial, Olivia can do except fall in love family and become the best friend of Antonio?

Unfortunately, “The Valet” depicts what could have been a leaner story with too many subplots: there are potentially romantic banter detective for hire, an activist who has a crush on Anthony, a team of devious characters working for Vincent, ill health mom and so on. In this regard, “The Valet” sometimes feels unnecessarily inflated, drowning the main scenario in the middle of a crowded canvas forgettable secondary players. Yet, the film respects its premises in the final act, resisting the temptation to force Anthony and Olivia in undeserved romance. Instead, the game modest Wong finds its satisfactory resolution also thanks to the personal growth of a group of fish characters from the water that you can not prevent you from worshiping thereafter.

“The Valet” will be released exclusively via Hulu on May 20.

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