Movie Review: The Valet
A worthy rom-com for Friday chilling
The Valet (2022)
It’s a remake of a French rom-com. There, now you know. However, in a world of competing streaming services, remakes are part of the way the voracious appetite for content gets fed, so being a remake isn’t something to hold against it. This isn’t the last one we’ll see. Hating it for being a remake is a waste of emotional effort.
And as remakes go, it adds some fun everyday diversity to the proceedings. Set in Los Angeles, it involves an ultra-glamorous white movie star, Olivia, who needs to temporarily fake a romantic relationship with Antonio, a Mexican nebbish who parks cars for a living. Antonio’s family is delightful, from his drama-nerd son (the local high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream floats in and out of the plot in just the right places), to his force-of-nature mother, who is having an apparently torrid affair with their apartment complex’s Korean landlord. The action clips along, aided dramatically by respecting all the multiculturalism (which is treated as totally normal by the characters) and mining it for ways to keep things natural. For example, neither mom nor the landlord speaks English, and the movie cleverly uses that as an excuse to use English for cross-translation when Antonio’s big Mexican family should logically be operating entirely in subtitled Spanish.
For all the rom-com tropes, though, it stays PG. There’s no profanity to speak of, nobody gets naked (though there’s some underwear and a faked sex scene that’s actually pretty funny), and while Antonio’s dear mother gets to do her version of Blanche from The Golden Girls, it’s all pretty tame. In that sense, it’s just a step or two from being a Hallmark production: safe and predictable, but sweet and comfortable nonetheless.
3 stars of 5: A worthy movie-night watch, but also pretty disposable.
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