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The Valet (2006)

La doublure (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 1 June 2007 (USA)
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A porter and a top-model have to pretend to be a couple in order to salvage a CEO's marriage.

Director:

Francis Veber

Writers:

Declan May (adr writer), Francis Veber
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gad Elmaleh ... François Pignon
Alice Taglioni ... Elena
Daniel Auteuil ... Levasseur
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Christine
Richard Berry ... Maître Foix
Virginie Ledoyen ... Émilie
Dany Boon ... Richard
Michel Jonasz Michel Jonasz ... André
Michel Aumont ... Le Médecin
Laurent Gamelon ... Paul
Patrick Mille ... Pascal
Michèle Garcia Michèle Garcia ... Louise
Philippe Magnan ... Berman
Jean-Yves Chilot Jean-Yves Chilot ... Hervé (as Jean Yves Chilot)
Irina Ninova Irina Ninova ... Marie
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Storyline

A Parisian valet loves a woman who rejects him: she's in debt to open a bookshop, and he's not her ideal man. A billionaire two-times his wealthy wife with his beautiful mistress, a young supermodel. To draw the paparazzi and his wife off the trail of adultery, and to give his lawyer time to arrange a divorce that won't cost him a fortune, the billionaire pays the supermodel and the valet to pretend for a month to be a couple. Within days, the bookshop owner and the billionaire are jealous, the supermodel experiences life with a nice guy, and the valet has status and self-confidence. What will each do with newfound wisdom? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One of the best romantic French comedies! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy | Belgium

Language:

French

Release Date:

1 June 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Valet See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR25,320,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$67,552, 22 April 2007

Gross USA:

$1,926,800

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,414,553
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Near the end, the father of François Pignon tells him that he is invited to a dinner to talk about his corkscrews collection. This is a reference to another Francis Veber movie, Le Dîner de Cons (1998), in which a likable idiot (also called François Pignon) is invited to a dinner on the pretext of talking about his match constructions. See more »

Goofs

When the president yells at Francois and his lawyer hang up the phone, you can see that the CISCO IP Phone is not even working and has the wrong date. There is no way someone would have been able to make a phone call using that phone. See more »

Quotes

François Pignon: A man comes home to watch T.V. It's not normal.
See more »

Connections

References Racing Stripes (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy birthday to you
(1893)
Composed and Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not your average comedy of errors
18 February 2012 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

On the surface, "La Doublure" (literal French translation: "The Stand-In") may seem like a standard switcheroo rom-com, but it's so much more than that. It's a classic morality play, not unlike something from Shakespeare or Molière, meticulously written and executed to deliver laughs as well as deeper messages.

You can watch it on either level. If you're in it just for laughs and some funny twists, there's plenty of them. If you sink your teeth deeper, there's a lot of clever symbolism and some nice allegories. For example, take our hero's job: a parking valet. He gets to drive all the hottest cars in the city but they're not his to keep. Just like the hot supermodel he gets temporarily paired with.

Director/writer Francis Veber is known for this sort of comedy. I don't want to label it "intelligent comedy" because there's nothing snotty or pretentious about it. Instead it's good comedy for the masses but with a clever edge. A note about Francis Veber: his standard recipe is to create an "everyman" character (who is always named François Pignon in every movie) and place him in an absurd situation that is the result of the strangeness/hypocrisy of people around him. François is always an innocent patsy, and the nuttiness just follows him wherever he goes. In that respect, it's the opposite of the Shakespearean formula where the "fool" is wise to everyone's ways and in control of the drama despite appearances. The Vebersian formula is to make the "fool" literally a fool, and that makes us connect with him & hope things turn out for the best. Another excellent example of this strategy is in Veber's film "Le dîner de cons" ("The Dinner Game") which is the film that introduced me to the genius of Francis Veber.

If you watch the DVD extras, you'll see how meticulous Veber was in making this film. Every word was carefully scripted, and the delivery was hammered down to a science. You'd never guess it sitting in the audience's seat because it comes across so smooth and easygoing. But make no mistake, everything was carefully planned. There is nothing sloppy about this, or any other film of Francis Veber.

The result is 90 minutes of pinpoint comedic timing, great performances from every actor (including the minor roles), and a fun experience as if you've seen a well produced stage performance.

If you like classy comedies with picture-perfect accuracy, movies like Frank Oz's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "Death at a Funeral" or Blake Edwards' "Breakfast at Tiffany's", I think you'll really like this. Another one, also starring the excellent Gad Elmaleh, is "Priceless" (the modern French version of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"). All of these comedies are in a class by themselves and well worth the price of admission.


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