The Valet (La Doublure) (2006)

Rating: ★★★★☆

The always reliable Daniel Auteuil has one of the best lines in the movie: “It takes real guts to kiss a guy like that!” Here’s the synopsis from Amazon.com:

A light, zippy farce from Francis Veber (writer/director of The Closet and The Dinner Game), The Valet is another masterful comic escalation of lies and pretenses. When a billionaire (Daniel Auteuil, Cache, The Eighth Day) gets photographed next to his supermodel mistress (Alice Taglioni), he tries to persuade his wife (Kristin Scott Thomas, The English Patient) that the supermodel must be with the other man in the picture–a parking valet (Gad Elmaleh) who just happens to be walking by. Naturally, the billionaire has to follow through by setting the valet and the supermodel up as a couple, lest his wife’s detective uncover the truth. The valet agrees, but not because he wants to cozy up to the beautiful girl; he hopes that the money he’ll be paid will win the heart of the bookstore owner he’s in love with (Virginie Ledoyen, The Beach, 8 Femmes). The sneaky machinations of the characters multiply and cascade with delicious results, particularly the hapless envy of the valet’s best friend (Dany Boon, My Best Friend). The Valet isn’t quite as brilliantly orchestrated as The Closet (some of the plot threads feel underbaked), but it’s still sly and wonderfully engaging. Don’t judge Veber by the hamfisted Hollywood remakes of his films Les Comperes and Le Jouet; Veber’s films have a deft sweetness that American filmmakers just can’t recreate. –Bret Fetzer.   Click here to get your copy of the DVD.