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 Handkerchi... more »efs 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« less
"...this film both bothers and fascinates as it tells the story
of a young man who will (in a very continental way) do almost
anything to see his wife happy. The film is beautiful to look
at and all the scenes seem very normal and attractive..but what
is going on is very strange indeed. This young couple go to a
restaurant...and add a pleasant fellow diner to their menage.
The three of them work at a summer camp for children and the
wife is seduced by a twelve year old boy. This is one of those
films which one goes back to time after time and finds fascinating and mystifying. The actors and performances are
simply perfect, but the film never fails to both delight and
disturb. Its world looks like our world, but many things have
gone askew. Prepare for an unusual experience."
The Sauerkraut is not working.....
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 02/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1978 when Bertrand Blier's "Get Out Your Handkerchiefs" was released in the United States we were all bopping to the beat of "Saturday Night Fever" and the Bee Gees. It was also a time when the "foreign film" was what Independent films are today: the place to go for the daring, the obscene maybe, the intellectual...sometimes.(Haven't you wondered why so few foreign movies are released in the USA today?)
"GOYH" was something else again, though: at the beginning an anarchic though sunny comedy of manners and by the end a black comedy with big concerns on it's mind dealing in 1978 (mind you) with subjects that are still taboo in the USA in 2002!
The first scene of the film throws us into a situation that is already in progress: Raoul (Gerard Depardieu) is frantic because his wife Solange (Carole Laure),lanquidly eating her saurkraut: obviously unhappy or manic depressive or both.
Raoul is so desperate to make Solange happy that, when he spys Stephane (Patrick Dawaere) in the restaurant, he offers to bring him over to the table for Solange's amusement and pleasure. And so he does.
First there is just Raoul and Solange; then Stephane and Solange; then Raoul, a woman he pulls off the street to comment on what he's just done, Stephane and Solange...all sitting at the table in the restaurant. The exposition is accomplished so quickly and so absurdly that we feel we are watching a silent film comedy. Blier writes and directs this first extended scene with such expert awareness of timing and pacing that it takes your breath away and grabs your interest immediately.
Ultimately, though Stephane and Raoul do their best to make Solange happy, it's Christian (Riton Liebman) who is finally the only one who touches her heart. (Don't ask)
In order to make this hybrid comedy-drama-romance work the actors must be quick on their feet and possess charm and panache to spare. All those involved do and then some: Depardieu and Dawaere, both looking young, handsome and flummoxed, Michel Serrault (soon to make a big splash in "La Cage aux Folles"),as a neighbor who inadvertenly gets pulled into this caper and Carole Laure with probably the hardest role to pull off: part zombie, part plain-jane, part sex pot.
"Get Out Your Handkerchiefs" is pain stakingly and downright seditious in it's refusal to adhere to any social or societal rules...and because of this, it must to be cherished and revered for these attributes even now; some 24 years after it's initial release."
GOYH: Funny, Perceptive Film
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blier creates a world that illustrates what men really know about women: Nothing! Depardieu and Dewaere deliver two brilliant performances that seem like one. They are friends joined by their common ignorance about what goes on inside a woman's head. The final twist and their ultimate realization of the futility of their mission is satisfying, as well as the other comic situations. The film's charm is that the humor is wild, but somehow never goes completely over the top. I highly recommend this comic gem. I don't think Depardieu has ever been better, and Dewaere matches him perfectly."
Funny but huh?
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 03/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gerard Depardieu is married to an unresponsive woman; thinking a lover might help cheer her up, he gets her one. When this doesn't work both men come to the conclusion that having a baby would do the trick. But this too fails. At end only a 14-year-old boy brings her out of the doldrums--and gets her pregnant. Highly improbable, but very funny. Won an Academy Award."
I liked it, but one of the oddest movies I have ever seen
chefdevergue | Spokane, WA United States | 06/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To say that this movie is not for everybody would be putting it mildly. There are plenty of people who would label as perverse a movie which culminates in a 12-year-old prodigy seducing & impregnating a grown woman, and this would not be an unfair assessment.
And yet, one could say that the most perverse thing about this movie is that the humor works. Situations which should have left me appalled instead left me smiling & laughing, because when all is said & done, this is one well-crafted movie. One can argue whether the absurdity trumps the perversity, but noone can argue that this is an exceedingly well-made, well-acted production."