Sunday, 03 July 2022

‘The Valet’ a sweet comedy ride; the CW fall schedule




‘THE VALET’ ON HULU


A light-hearted romantic comedy on Hulu focuses on class and cultural differences in the charmingly amusing “The Valet,” a remake of sorts of a little-seen French film on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Eugenio Derbez’s Antonio, a socially awkward Mexican-American sporting a bad haircut, parks cars at an upscale Beverly Hills restaurant catering to people driving expensive foreign cars.

Living in a small apartment shared with his spirited mother (Carmen Salinas) and teenage son Marco (Joshua Vasquez), Antonio would like to reunite with his ex-wife (Marisol Nichols) but she’s moved on with a high-flying realtor who advertises on billboards.

Riding his bike leads Antonio to inadvertently end up in the middle of a paparazzi photo of actress Olivia Allan (Samara Weaving) and her married lover Vincent Royce (Max Greenfield), a developer whose vast wealth is tied to the family fortune of wife Kathryn (Betsy Brandt).

To avoid a scandal that could derail Olivia’s career (her big picture is set for a debut) and cause the odious Vincent to lose it all in a divorce, a scheme is concocted whereby Antonio is recruited to pose as Olivia’s new beau for enough money to pay off his ex-wife’s college loan.

That Antonio attends red-carpet celebrity events with Olivia is enough to puzzle his family and cause his co-workers to marvel at a working-class valet dating a pretty blonde half his age.

Scenes where the mismatched couple pretend to have a relationship are not as relevant as the situation in which the lonely Olivia hangs out and finds acceptance with Antonio’s circle of extended family and friends.

A lot of the film’s humor comes from Antonio’s mother having an affair with her Korean landlord Mr. Kim (Ji Yong Lee) who doesn’t speak a word of English and neither does she. They both rely on offspring for translation.

“The Valet” suffers a bit from too many plot threads that seem extraneous. Overall, the fish-out-of-water story allows the film’s eponymous character to be endearing, and the culture clash exposes the absurdity of a shallow celebrity lifestyle.

THE CW NETWORK FALL SCHEDULE PREVIEW

The CW Network, typically geared to the younger demographic, plans to launch the usual mix of programs, with an added initiative of joining forces with the Surgeon General to tackle the number issue of mental health facing America’s youth.

“As The CW looks towards the future, we are evolving and adapting to become more than just a network. We are a brand that drives our passionate and dedicated audiences to engage directly with our programming across all platforms, both linear and digital,” said Mark Pedowitz.

These words sound nicely scripted by a publicity agent for Mr. Pedowitz, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The CW Network, but I am not really sure what they mean as far as how the network operates.

Nevertheless, new drama series this fall include a prequel to “Supernatural” with “The Winchesters,” the epic, untold love story of how John Winchester (Drake Rodger) met Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly) and put it all on the line to not only save their love, but the entire world.

When John returns home from fighting in Vietnam, a mysterious encounter sparks a new mission to trace his father’s past. In his journey, he crosses paths with demon hunter Mary, who is also searching for answers after the disappearance of her own father.

The two join forces with young hunter-in-training Latika (Nida Khurshid) and easygoing hunter Carlos (Jonathan Fleites) to uncover the hidden truths about both their families.

The “Professionals” follows Vincent Corbo (Tom Welling), a top-tier security operative who is paid to protect the interests of rich and powerful clients by any means necessary, legal or not.

After a medical-data satellite explodes on launch, Corbo is hired by the rocket’s designer, billionaire futurist Peter Swann (Brendan Fraser), who suspects sabotage.

As Corbo and his team of security pros investigate the rocket disaster, they expose a lethal conspiracy of Swann’s corporate rivals, corrupt government officials, and a shadowy crime syndicate, all working to destroy Swann and take control of his tech empire.

Set in the late 1800s, “Walker Independence,” an origin story for hit series “Walker,” follows Abby Walker (Katherine McNamara), an affluent and tough-minded Bostonian whose husband is murdered before her eyes while on their journey out West.

Arriving in the town of Independence, Texas, Abby encounters diverse and eclectic residents running from their pasts, chasing their dreams, and keeping their own secrets.

“Family Law” centers around Abigail Bianchi (Jewel Staite), a high-paid personal injury lawyer who’s good at blaming others. After being kicked out of her family home because of her drinking, Abby goes on a bender, shows up drunk in court and vomits on a client.

She’s suspended and can only practice law again if she finds a senior lawyer willing to take her on and mentor her for a one-year probationary period. The only one agreeable to take the risk is her estranged father Harry Svensson (Victor Garber), who runs the top family law practice.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

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