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Friday, June 6, 2008

THE VALET (2006)

French helmer Francis Veber has been churning out comedies sweet & savory for close to four decades and he still can work up a fine, funny and even thoughtful product that’s perfectly cast & immaculately directed (see THE CLOSET/'01 for a recent example), as well as being primed for Hollywood diminution (see THE BIRD CAGE/'96, THE TOY/'82, FATHER'S DAY/'97, et al.). But this boulevard farce about a fiercely jealous industrial titan who wants to have his cake & eat it, too (he hires a hapless parking valet to play ‘beard’ to his young mistress) struggles to maintain interest even at 85 minutes. The cast sound like a pleasing group (Gad Elmaleh, Alice Taglioni, Daniel Auteuil, Kristin Scott Thomas), but they all seem to know they're cast in the wrong roles. A fizzle.

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