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The Valet

The Valet Plot

Antonio Flores lives with his mother Cecilia as a lowly valet. He and his wife, Isabel, are divorced, and they split custody of their adolescent son. His community is threatened by gentrification plans, which Natalie, the owner of a local bike store, is fighting. Meanwhile, actress Olivia Allan is having an affair with married billionaire Vincent Royce, a city developer. Antonio crashes his bike into Olivia’s Uber one night as she is getting into it with Vincent standing next to her. The three are pictured together, leading to speculation that Olivia and Vincent are having an affair. Vincent devises a scheme to have Olivia and Antonio pretend to be a couple in order to save his firm if his wife Kathryn divorces him. Olivia agrees since she doesn’t want any negative publicity before the release of her new film, Earhart, in which she plays Amelia Earhart. For Isabel’s debts, Antonio asks for $12,850.

Antonio and Olivia had lunch in front of the paparazzi, where Olivia is harsh and calculated, while Antonio looks out of place. Except for Kathryn, who employs a private detective to track them down, everyone falls for the ruse. She interrogates Antonio during the premiere of Earhart, who defends himself when she criticizes his profession. Antonio learns as he departs the gathering that he has become well-known, particularly in the Latin American community. To avoid any unpleasant paparazzi photos, Antonio and his friends drive an intoxicated Olivia home.

Antonio’s family feeds Olivia a good breakfast the next day. She admires how close they are and how much they adore each other. Vincent is encouraged to assume that Antonio and Olivia had slept together, which makes him envious. After the premiere, Earhart receives good reviews, but Olivia is lonely and doubtful of Vincent’s pledge to leave his marriage. Olivia goes to Antonio’s son’s school play. Isabel kisses Antonio out of jealousy, and he tells her the truth about Olivia. Antonio and Olivia become fast friends, and Olivia appreciates her anonymity in a Latino neighborhood. They act like they’re having sex at home to fool private detectives who are watching them from across the street. Even though they don’t speak the same language, Cecilia tells Antonio she’s delighted he’s found love again, just as she has with their Korean landlord Mr. Kim. Olivia admits that she hasn’t been following a healthy diet.

The next day, Isabel informs Antonio that she intends to divorce him because she does not want to be with someone who has such poor self-esteem. Olivia and Antonio have a public “breakup” over their self-destructive tendencies—her aloofness and his self-deprecation. Later, Vincent’s lawyer contacts Antonio to demand $25,000 from him, stating that he grew up in the same neighborhood as Antonio and that he is glad whenever he can do the right thing. Antonio hesitates before accepting the money.

Cecilia had a stroke and dies in the kitchen, surrounded by Mr. Kim. At the funeral, Antonio gives a moving eulogy about his mother’s struggles to provide a better life for him and his siblings in the United States, and praises Mr. Kim for bringing her happiness. Mr. Kim’s family can understand him because he speaks English. He reconciles with Olivia, who decides to end her relationship with Vincent. Kathryn discovers the truth about Vincent, divorces him, and takes over the business. She cancels the gentrification plans as a thank you to Antonio. Antonio works up the guts to approach Natalie and ask her out. The film ends with Antonio and Olivia talking about Antonio’s love life while paparazzi snap shots on the street.

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