Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Francis Veber (The Dinner Game, The Closet), the living master of French farce, pulls it off again in this tall tale of a restaurant car service valet (Gad Elmaleh) paid by a ruthless tycoon (Daniel Auteuil) to cohabit with his mistress, a golden-hearted supermodel (Alice Taglioni). It’s all about throwing the tabloids, and Auteuil’s wife cum controlling shareholder (Kristin Scott Thomas), off the scent of the affair. The valet may be very confused, but you won’t be once Veber gets to work, setting up his intricate plot with crystal clarity and tick-tock timing. As usual, it all turns on a fall guy named François Pignon, impersonated here by standup comedian Elmaleh. His doe-eyed deadpan anchors a whirlwind of one-liners, frantic dashes and mischievously contrived misunderstandings. Touching on issues relating to celebrity, privacy, sexual jealousy and the burden of being Karl Lagerfeld, Veber’s comedy is triumphantly amoral, relishing the deviousness of the movers and shakers every bit as much as the bumbling innocence of the moved and shaken.