A few days ago, I watched Francis Veber’s ‘The dinner game’. On liking the film, I decided to watch the next one – The Valet!
The Valet is a farcical comedy in the life of a parking valet. A man who drives many fancy cars but can own none, who is in love with a woman who thinks of him as her brother and a life not worth mentioning – he is Fracois Pignon. One day as luck would strike, he is given money to have a supermodel live in his apartment and pretend to be her boyfriend.
Apart from simple realistic characterisation, straightforward (and sometimes predictable) storyline, satirical dialogues, innocently well-performing actors, and simple yet beautiful locations – the film has the right mix of everything to make a great afternoon pastime. A few good laughs, a lighthearted story and good-wins-over-evil ending – that is what ‘the Valet’ has in store.
Spend a slightly deeper thought into the film, it is a very interesting mix of ideologies and philosophies: A bourgeois man makes his supermodel girlfriend live in the house of a (proletariat) Valet to save himself from a nasty divorce. The girlfriend, on the other hand, agrees to do so if given 20 million Euros. But the Valet is neither interested in money nor the supermodel – but in his doctor’s daughter who owns a bookshop in the neighbourhood and is drowning in debt.
The materialistic greed of a bourgeois man (and the ‘love’ for a supermodel girlfriend) makes him lie, act and cheat. The bourgeois man’s wife, who is stalking him, spying on him and having him followed only to get that nasty divorce to keep her share of the money. A supermodel (rich) girlfriend is in ‘love’ with the man in spite of knowing his marital status and lack of intent to get a divorce. She lives with a stranger in a not-so-well-off house for the 20 million Euros she is offered.
With honesty and virtue out of the bourgeois window, the Valet is a good man. He has a family who he takes care of and loves, he has a friend who he is honest to, he is in love with a girl he knows and gets a wedding ring in instalment for her. When she rejects him, he still loves her and makes money to help her debt. The girl on the other hand, is a struggling entrepreneur in the business of selling books that no one seems to buy. But she is also an entrepreneur who would not give in for a fancy new business of selling mobile phones.
The supermodel realises there is no point in being in ‘love’ with the man and decides to dump him after she learns that the man she loves is not going to come to her. She realises that the Valet is a good man and helps him get his girl. When rejects the money her lover had given her and moves on with her life.
The coherent message about the economy and society is perhaps something that I alone see. If any of you ever get to watch the film, would you like to tell me if you noticed it too?