Friday, September 14, 2007

The Valet (La Doublure) DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Latest French Farce from Francis Veber (La Cage aux Folles) Out on DVD

Francois Pignon (Gad Elmaleh) parks cars for a posh Parisian café with a pleasant view of the Eiffel Tower. On his meager salary and tips, the lovesick valet has saved up enough cash for a diamond ring in order to propose to his very reluctant former childhood sweetheart, Emilie (Virginie Ledoyen).
However, their roles switch the day that Francois, while walking down the street, happens to be photographed standing next to married billionaire Pierre Lavasseur (Daniel Auteuil) and his secret mistress, Elena (Alice Taglioni), a famous supermodel. The celebrity-stalking paparazzo sells the picture to a tabloid, and the snapshot is soon splashed across the cover under an incriminating headline.
Rather than admit the truth and risk losing half of his empire in an ugly divorce from his suspicious wife (Kristin Scott Thomas), Pierre asks Elena to help him convince the press that the other man in the photo is the one who is actually her boyfriend. So, she agrees to move in with the nondescript stranger for $20 million, and before long Francois can’t believe his luck when this lusty, leggy blonde appears out of thin air and is instantly infatuated with him. Furthermore, the arrival of a competitor on the scene soon has Emilie suddenly jealous and reevaluating her decision to dump her bumbling beau.
This intricate web of deception is deftly woven into an ever-escalating chain of events by The Valet, the latest French farce from Oscar-nominee Francis Veber (for La Cage aux Folles). Here, the legendary director again proves himself a master of the genre, providing not only plenty of hilarious hijinks but a palpable tension which keeps the audience caring about how the loose ends will all be resolved. A sophisticated screwball comedy right up there with the best of Billy Wilder.
Some like it haute!

Excellent (4 stars)
In French with subtitles.
Running time: 85 minutes

Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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