REVIEW: ‘The Valet’ Brings Endearing Humor to Hulu

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The Valet - But Why Tho

Romantic comedies are one of my favorite genres of film. They’re often the right amount of light and airy while being the right amount of introspective — even if it’s surface-level moments instead of grand sweeping ones. Hulu Original The Valet effectively uses a rom-com set-up to tell a much different story in the process. The Valet is directed by Richard Wong and produced by Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez and is the English-language remake of the hit 2006 French film of the same name. It stars Eugenio Derbez, Samara Weaving, Max Greenfield, Amaury Nolasco, Carlos Santos, Armando Hernández, and Marisol Nichols.

In The Valet, world-famous movie star Olivia (Samara Weaving) faces a PR disaster when a paparazzi snaps a photo of her with her married lover, Vincent (Max Greenfield). But, the hard-working valet Antonio (Eugenio Derbez) accidentally appears in the same photo and is enlisted to pose as Olivia’s new boyfriend to help cover up the affair. In need of money, Antonio agrees only for the ruse to turn his life completely upside down in the spotlight and chaos. But while this is a fish out of water romantic comedy, both Olivia and Antonio learn how to meet each other as their cultures collide, and a solid friendship is built along the way.

One of the other amazing things about The Valet is its use of language. While this is an English-language film, there is a lot of Spanish spoken by the characters, and it never once feels out of place. In fact, it felt like the places I worked and my family, and it was just, well, natural. The Valet is funny and endearing in two languages when some movies struggle to execute comedic timing and chemistry in one. This is so extremely clear whenever Antonio is with his friends who also work valet (especially his brother-in-law) and when he’s with his loud, large, and incredibly close family (which in the authentic Mexican sense of the word includes cousins, neighbors, and Mr. Kim’s family too).

But the ability to be funny by working in the idiosyncrasies that Mexican families have into the story is doubled by the fact that Antonio’s family is just loving. There isn’t anything deeply tragic nor some mounting familial pressure. They just love each other. For that point, Carmen Salinas as, Antonio’s mother, is utter perfection. She’s hilarious and open in a way that I hope to see my mom become one day as she shirks her more conservative elements to the side. Abuela talking about sex toys, talking about dating, offering advice on it, too, all of it works to not just provide comic relief but a soul to the film.

The Valet even manages to juxtapose a romantic comedy premise against a quickly gentrifying Los Angeles. While ham-fisted in some parts, the political commentary on a genuine issue works to add humor and context to Antonio’s world. Additionally, the film manages to highlight the absence of Latinos in Hollywood, despite their faces serving rich white celebrities. Racism is on display in The Valet, but not the kind with slurs. It’s the kind that happens when you go to a nice restaurant, and a white person thinks you’re a part of the wait staff. It’s the way people refuse to even look their servers in the eye and treat them like they’re human. It’s the small indignities that pile up and that the film manages to showcase both with humor and with critique.

While Weaving’s Olivia is a fun and lonely fish out of water with her own charisma, this is solidly Derbez’s movie. He’s charismatic and endearing. He’s hilarious and loving. Antonio is literally the best of anyone, and his absolute faith in humanity and himself is something that not only keeps the film wholesome but keeps you invested in him as a character.

The Valet is hilarious and heartfelt. It manages to have some biting critique while still keeping endearing humor at the center propelled by Eugenio Derbez. Looking for a great and fun watch? The Valet is just the right one.

The Valet is available to stream exclusively on Hulu on May 20, 2022. 


The Valet
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

The Valet is hilarious and heartfelt. It manages to have some biting critique while still keeping endearing humor at the center propelled by Eugenio Derbez. Looking for a great and fun watch? The Valet is just the right one.