The Valet: the ending & meaning, explained

The Valet

The Valet is a humorous take on the American celebrity life. The film introduces the viewer to Antonio, a valet at a hotel who is forced to be seen as the fiancée of Olivia, a popular movie star. With some threats, speculations and tragedy, the film ends on a wholesome note. But did the pretend couple part ways at the end?

Caution: Spoilers ahead

Antonio crashes into Olivia’s car 

Antonio Flores (Eugenio Derbez) is a valet working at a high-end hotel in Los Angeles who lives with his son and mother. The film starts with Antonio realising that his mother is romantically involved with their landlord Mr Kim. 

He also gets to know that his separated wife Isabel (Marisol Nichols) is working two jobs to pay her loans and fund her night classes. Antonio offers to help, but she says that she needs $12,850, a sum too much for Antonio. Isabel is also involved with another man and after Antonio finds out, he goes out in his cycle to get his mother’s medicines.

In the meantime, Olivia Allen (Samara Weaving), a famous actress dedicated to bringing women’s stories to the forefront is dating Vincent Royce (Max Greenfield), a married man. Vincent promises Olivia to divorce his wife and be with her, but Olivia decides to break up with him on their 1st anniversary. 

While on the way back to her taxi with Vincent begging her to give him more time, Antonio approaches and hits the same taxi. An embarrassed Antonio says that he will pay for the damages, but Olivia and Vincent decline the offer. A paparazzi cameraman captured this whole event with Vincent, Antonio and Olivia.

Vincent makes a bold plan to save himself 

The next day the captured pictures make the headlines and Vincent’s wife Katherine (Betsy Brandt) is convinced of the affair between the two. Vincent, not wanting to lose the inheritance of the company if Katherine divorced him, formulates a plan to publicize Olivia and Antonio as a couple. 

Vincent’s lawyer meets Antonio the next day and tells him to play the role of Olivia’s fiancé. In return, Antonio asks $12,850 for playing the role, the exact number of his separated wife’s loans. Olivia agrees too to keep the press away. Convinced that Vincent is lying, Katherine hires a private investigator to spy on Olivia and Antonio. 

Olivia comes to the valet service at the hotel and kisses Antonio in front of everyone. They both get in the var and drive away to fool the paparazzi. The ploy works and everyone starts believing in Antonio and Olivia, including Katherine. 

They both attend the red carpet movie premiere of Olivia’s new film based on the life of Amelia Earhart. After the premier, Katherine meets Olivia and asks how she met Antonio, to which she lies. Katherine offers Antonio $100,000 to say the truth, but he declines. He takes a drunk Olivia to his home amidst the cheers of the Latin community in the hotel. 

Olivia forms an unlikely friendship with Antonio 

The next day, Olivia wakes up from a hangover and Antonio’s mother invites the whole family to meet the popular actress. They all have breakfast together and Olivia remarks that she does not get to be with her family like this.  

The private investigator of Katherine informs her of this information and stops following Olivia. However, when Vincent gets to know about this, he assumes that Olivia slept with Antonio, and he tells his investigator to follow them both separately. 

The reviews of Olivia’s new film arrive, and she realises that her movie is a hit, but she cannot find anyone to celebrate it with. She goes to the school play of Antonio’s son. Later at a party, Isabela starts kissing Antonio and asks for another chance out of jealousy and Antonio reveals the whole ploy to her. 

Antonio manages to sneak Olivia out from the spying investigators and they both start to bond together. Later, Olivia spends the night at Antonio’s house. The detectives follow them home and she pretends to have sex with Antonio to tip them off. 

A series of devastating news rocks the newfound friendship

Antonio meets Isabela the next day. She wants a divorce because Antonio turned down the $100,000 offered by Katherine. Later at home, Antonio tries to take his frustration out on Olivia and they both have an argument and point fingers at each other for their own mistakes. Vincent’s lawyer gives him $25,000 for his services and reveals that he too came from the same background as him. 

Antonio’s mother passes away the next day. He delivers a moving speech about the sacrifices she had to make to give them a better life and thanks Mr Kim for making her towards her end days.  

After not speaking for some time, Antonio gets to know about Olivia’s whereabouts and with the help of this brother in law, he goes to see her. She tells Antonio that she is going to break up with Vincent. 

What happened to Olivia and Antonio?

Later in the day, Vincent is expecting Olivia to come, but Antonio comes in dressed as Olivia and gives Vincent the divorce papers. After calling Katherine, Vincent apologises to her and explains how he doesn’t care about Olivia, only to realise that Olivia is also with Katherine.

Katherine divorces Vincent and tells the authorities about his offshore accounts with the company. Vincent is later arrested for embezzlement and Antonio finally finds the courage to ask a girl out. 

The film ends with Olivia and Antonio sharing a meal as friends.

Speaking about the meaning of the film, actor Eugenio Derbez tells Screen Rant;

“Even though they’re (Olivia and Antonio) different, they come from opposite worlds, the fact that they both feel invisible in their way. She feels that people just see the actors but not the human being, so she feels that she’s been unseen for her entire life. I feel the same because people when handing me their keys, don’t look me in the eye. So, it’s two different ways of feeling invisible. They share the same feelings even though they come from different worlds. That’s what’s interesting in the movie.”