The Valet

Starring: Eugenio Derbez, Samara Weaving, Max Greenfield, Betsy Brandt, Carmen Salinas, Amauri Nolasco, and Marisol Nichols.

Directed By: Richard Wong

Where i Watched It: Hulu

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Description Provided By: Descriptive Video Works

The Plot: An actress (Weaving), who is secretly sleeping with a married man (Greenfield) and sneaking around, finds herself caught by the paparazzi when they take a photo of her with her married beau. But instead of going public about her transgressions, she pretends she’s dating the third person in the photo, the valet (Derbez).

What Works: This is a Eugenio Derbez film, so if you’ve enjoyed any of his previous works, Yu’s enjoy this. He does a lot to further the bilingual nature of how these projects layout, always blending culture with comedy. In this film, his large Latinx family also blends with a Korean family, even though they don’t speak the same language, somehow they still understand each other. So, it has some nice themes in it.

It also spends a great deal of time with Derbez and Weaving in a different way than you might assume if all you’ve done is watched movies like Marry Me and Notting Hill your whole life. So, not going the obvious path is interesting. I didn’t love the film, but I appreciated parts of it.

What doesn’t Work: It’s just not memorable enough for me to get truly excited. I know that’s not a tangible effect, but there’s an intangible reason we remember Notting Hill. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a guy, asking him to love her. You know? And of the films in this same vibe, I enjoyed Marry me more than The Valet.

While i think the film was interesting for making different choices, because Derbez and weaving are opposites, and opposites don’t always need to attract, I also missed that something special in the film that lets me know that ten years from now, I’ll have a hankering to watch this again.

The Blind Perspective: While I don’t have any major problems with the English audio description, I do hope that Hulu is providing Spanish Audio Description. This being a Eugenio Derbez film, there is a lot of Spanish in this film, and all of it was dubbed for the English AD track. So, since I know his target demo is heavily Latinx, I want his Spanish audience to have the experience they deserve as well, without us whitewashing the film to death so an audience this film wasn’t really made for can enjoy it.

I don’t know if there is a Spanish AD track, but I hope so, and I hope its awesome.

Final Thoughts: I think I’ve enjoyed Derbez’s other films more than this, but they all kind of are about the same for me. He was charming in Instructions Not included, which is why his career propelled into English Language features after the surprise box office success of that Spanish language comedy. Here, while some moments are funny, this does kind of feel like the kind of film someone watched and said “this can go to streaming”. And they didn’t even bother to consider a theatrical path for it. It’s a slight recommend from me, but you don’t need to rush. I saw this a few days ago, and I didn’t even rush to write this review.

Final Grade: C+

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