The Valet parents guide

The Valet Parent Guide

This screwball romantic comedy provides madcap fun and plenty of laughs.

Overall B-

Hulu: After being accidentally included in a photo with an actress and her married lover, a valet is given an interesting proposition: cash if he pretends to be the actress's romantic interest.

Release date May 20, 2022

Violence B
Sexual Content C
Profanity C-
Substance Use C

Why is The Valet rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Valet PG-13 for sexual content, some strong language and brief drug material

Run Time: 123 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Olivia Allan is one of the most famous women in the world. An actress with an upcoming blockbuster film, she believes in being a role model for girls and bringing attention to women’s stories. So when a paparazzi photographer snaps a photo of her arguing with her married lover, Vincent (Max Greenfield), she’s distraught.

As Olivia spirals into panic mode, Vincent is on the verge of complete meltdown. If his wife sees the photo, his marriage will be over and he will lose control of the giant real estate empire her father created. Desperation leads to inspiration and Vincent and his lawyer decide on a strategy: instead of admitting the affair, they will pay the third person in the photo to pretend he is in a relationship with Olivia instead.

Antonio can’t believe what’s happening to him. The parking valet smashed his bike into a parked car and wound up in a photograph with two strangers. Now he’s being offered unheard of amounts of money to go out on dates with a dazzlingly beautiful actress. He’s terrified, tongue-tied, and very sweaty…but this is the kind of offer he just can’t turn down, even as it thrusts him into the rarefied world of celebrity.

The Valet aims for that most difficult movie niche – the screwball romantic comedy. Genre fans will appreciate that this rom-com manages to provide madcap fun and plenty of laughs. (Even I, jaded by countless bad movies, laughed out loud throughout this movie’s runtime.) The plot is silly and many of the characters verge on being completely irrational, but the storyline remains compelling, the comic timing holds, the action involves plenty of zany mayhem, and audiences will find themselves sharing Antonio’s bemusement at the strange new world he has entered.

It’s unfortunate that such a fun film comes with content that makes it unsuitable for family audiences. There’s some profanity, plenty of alcohol use (including scenes of intoxication), and some violence used for comic effect. The movie’s sexual content is the most troubling issue: there’s plenty of sexual innuendo, including a very weird (but brief) conversation between a mother and her son about vibrators. The biggest issue in the movie is a scene in which Olivia and Antonio pretend to have sex for the benefit of two private investigators watching them from a neighboring building. Knowing that they are being filmed, the couple kiss and remove their shirts, before Olivia pushes Antonio on to the bed, at which point he is no longer visible through the window. When he slips out of the room, Olivia continues to pretend she’s having a sexual encounter, complete with writhing, gyrating, and screaming. Her bra and underwear remain on, but the scene is a bit more detailed than most parents would choose for family viewing.

The negative content is particularly unfortunate because The Valet is not only funny and warm-hearted; it also has a lot to say. This movie illuminates the pain of being “invisible” and living with racial stereotyping and biases. It shows the strength and joy that can be found in extended families and “found families” and in supportive communities. Viewers will also appreciate that this is a movie where the kind, decent guy is celebrated. Points go to Eugenio Derbez for so perfectly embodying his character – those sad spaniel eyes of his are incredibly emotive and provide this frothy film with the weight it needs to keep from blowing away.

Directed by Richard Wong. Starring Eugenio Derbez, Samara Weaving, Max Greenfield, Betsy Brandt. Running time: 123 minutes. Theatrical release May 20, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Valet

The Valet
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Valet rated PG-13? The Valet is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual content, some strong language and brief drug material

Violence: A gun is shown in a movie scene. A man riding a bike crashes into the back of a car. An angry person throws a bottle of pills at a window. A minor character punches a mannequin. A man punches another man in the face. A character collapses and her funeral is shown. There’s mention of someone dying from a knife wound.
Sexual Content: A married man and a woman who is not his wife kiss passionately: they are later seen in bed together. A woman is seen in a bra and panties. A woman kisses and embraces a surprised man. A character is asked if he’s having sex with someone. A man is called a “sex god”. There’s a coded conversation about comparing genital size. A couple are seen undressing and embracing passionately in front of an open window: they pretend to have sex but don’t and the woman makes noises that sound like she’s climaxing. A woman talks about vibrators. It’s implied that two men are in a relationship. Someone is described as being “horny”.
Profanity:  The script contains approximately 10 scatological curses, eight terms of deity, a single sexual expletive, two minor profanities and a couple of crude anatomical terms. A coarse word for women is used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A person is described as alcoholic. A main character takes unidentified prescription medication while holding a glass of champagne. A main character takes pills and drinks alcohol from the bottle and is soon visibly intoxicated.  A man spikes his milk with alcohol from a flask: he’s in a car so future driving is possible. Adults drink beer at a party. A disappointed person drinks alcohol and mentions “tequila therapy”.  An adult character smokes a cigarette.


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The Valet Parents' Guide

Why does Antonio agree to masquerade as Olivia’s love interest? What do his motivations tell you about him? What do Olivia and Antonio learn about themselves as a result of their unusual association? How does their relationship change their lives?

Home Video

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If it’s rom-coms with a Latin twist that you’re interested in, Hollywood has a few options for you. Jennifer Lopez stars in a couple, including Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Plannerand Marry Me. In Hitch,Eva Mendes stars opposite Will Smith as a gossip columnist and dating coach who unexpectedly fall for each other.