: : : Get Out Your Handkerchiefs

Story

Thoroughly safe and mild compared to Going Places--the anarchic, something-to-offend-everyone earlier collaboration of Gérard Depardieu, Patrick Dewaere, and French director Bertrand Blier--the 1977 Get Out Your Handkerchiefs is an outwardly civilized satire with a heart so dark it's a wonder you can see the film's images. Depardieu plays the bellicose but well-meaning husband of a beautiful and depressed woman (Carole Laure) who wants to be pregnant but isn't. Hubby's solution to her woes is to talk another man (Dewaere), a complete stranger, into becoming her lover. When that fails to lift her spirits and fill her womb, the two men--both of them now slavishly devoted to the cult of her misery--bring in a boy (Riton) with whom Laure's character seems to be in perfect emotional synch. As with many of Blier's films, Handkerchiefs is an intellectually brutal but slaphappy variation on traditional comedies of manners. What makes this film a bit different was its obvious jibe at frothier French sex farces of the day (Yves Robert's Pardon Mon Affaire, for example, was released the same year) as well as then-contemporary adult comedy-dramas from the U.S. about the vicissitudes of relationships (Blume in Love, Kramer vs. Kramer). Seen in that context, Get Out Your Handkerchiefs looks like a wolf in sheep's clothing, though it isn't necessary to bring any context to Blier's acid wit. --Tom Keogh

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Widescreen

Cast

Gerard Depardieu
Michel Serrault
Carole Laure
Patrick Dewaere

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