The Valet (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

The Valet 2005

La Doublure

Directed by Francis Veber

The living master of French farce, Francis Veber (The Dinner Game), pulls it off again in this tale of a ruthless tycoon (Daniel Auteuil) who pays a valet to cohabit with his mistress to confuse his wife.

France In French with English subtitles
85 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay

Photography

Robert Fraisse

Editor

Georges Klotz

Music

Alexandre Desplat

With

Gad Elmaleh
,
Alice Taglioni
,
Daniel Auteuil
,
Kristin Scott Thomas
,
Richard Berry
,
Virginie Ledoyen
,
Dany Boon
,
Michel Jonasz

Elsewhere

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.