Valentin revolves around a precocious eight-year-old boy (Rodrigo Noya) who lives with his grandmother (Carmen Maura), following the loss of her husband. She finds out fast enough that he is a likeable lad, but also a real handful.
Abandoned by his estranged parents, he meets up with his father again. There is an especially poignant moment early on when he counts under his breath, hoping that by the time he reaches a certain number, his mother will appear. Of course, it is a forlorn dream. Therefore, he latches on with great gusto to his father's girlfriend, hoping she will be a mother to him.
As a film, Valentin has an engaging naivity, providing you can accept the character of the boy. Noya is incredibily cute, but also composed and perhaps a little too together, given that his parents left him. At times, you feel it would have suited the aims of the film better if he had not been so adult-like and given way to his frustrations more.
He remains ever likeable, as his efforts in matchmaking in the final reel testify, but the true star of the movie is Maura, whose scenes are the most involving and interesting. She shows that she has huge range as an actress and is absolutely believable in the role of the grandmother.