The Valet (La doublure)

30 May

François Pignon (played by Gad Elmaleh) is a car valet at an elegant Paris hotel near the Eiffel Tower. He is in love with his childhood sweetheart Émilie (by Virginie Ledoyen) and plans to marry her – if only she felt the same way about him. One day, after lunching with Emilie and having his marriage proposal rejected, he is distractedly walking back to work when he ends up involved in a liaison between supermodel Elena (by Alice Taglioni) and her billionaire industrialist sugar daddy Pierre Levasseur (by Daniel Auteuil). Pierre needs to keep Elena happy but hide his infidelities from the media so his suspicious and devious wife Christine (by Kristin Scott Thomas) doesn’t find out. Here is where the problems begin … a paparazzi photograph appears in a gossip magazine and Pierre must explain away his actions – he tracks down François and offers him a deal too good to be true … all François needs to do is pretend to be Elena’s lover for a few weeks, then he’ll be handsomely rewarded. But is this going to be as easy as it sounds? … and will it be worth it?

This is just a straightforward nice movie – a short sweet comedy story, with some life lessons along the way. Paris is beautiful and its people are equally stunning. The most luminous of characters here is Émilie – Virginie Ledoyen is lovely as the “girl next door” natural beauty. The comedy is pleasant, there is little swearing, no violence, no sex and nothing offensive here.  It’s just a harmless fun, a French romance with some entertaining sidelines – François’ best friend Richard (by Dany Boon) is consistently good and Émilie’s father, Le Médecin (by Michel Aumont), is lovely as the doctor who thinks he is more sick than his patients. Kristin Scott Thomas is perfect as the wickedly conniving wife, Christine, who is bitter to the core but always full of grace and elegance.

Made in 2006. Directed by Francis Veber

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Movies


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