The women are the big wheels in `The Valet'

Review B

June 01, 2007|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

There's pleasure to be had in seeing a valet parker try to trump a billionaire in the French comedy The Valet. Daniel Auteuil plays a married captain of industry who thinks the only way he can hang on to his business position and his super-model mistress is to have her pose as the live-in lover of a fellow who parks cars at a restaurant.

Improbable? Perhaps, but one of writer-director Francis Veber's gifts as a farceur is to make the unlikely both credible and amusing. As he showed in The Closet and The Dinner Game and the script to the original La Cage Aux Folles, Veber is a master of economy. He works wonders with props as common as window curtains. He knows film farce treads nimbly for no more than 90 minutes. The Valet clocks in at 85.

The Valet (Sony Pictures Classics) Starring Gad Elmaleh, Alice Taglioni, Daniel Auteuil, Kristin Scott Thomas, Virginie Ledoyen. Directed by Francis Veber. In French, with English subtitles. Rated PG-13. Time 85 minutes.

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