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The fact that Get Out Your Handkerchiefs won an Oscar is beyond my comprehension. It started off solidly - abruptly but somewhat amusingly. But it quickly went downhill when you witness the terrible writing and endless objectification of its main female character. Rarely have I seen a more misogynistic film than this one and it was truly horrible to witness. But its third act is even worse and even more repulsive in that uncomfortable relationship. Ultimately the biggest problem here is that none of the characters learn anything and the entire movie was thus a waste of time and an entirely pointless affair.
First, I must start by stating that I watched this movie in French without English subtitles so although I caught the overall gist of the movie, some of the subtler nuances I may have missed. It was funny, audacious and clever, but it started to go down the road of the downright bizarre about 2/3 of the way through. The themes and messaging were all over the place.
Bertrand Blier's "Get Out Your Handkerchiefs" (winner of 1978's Best Foreign Film Oscar) is unavoidably classified as a "sex comedy," but it's not nearly as crass as that label's connotation. This is highly watchable as foreign-language films go, and is quite funny at times. However, it doesn't seem to get circulated much today, which is probably because it has a controversial plot involving consensual sex with a minor.
Raoul (Gerard Depardieu, back in his attractive heyday) is married to Solange (Carole Laure, who apparently is better known as a singer than an actress). Solange has turned eternally glum and listless, and spends most of her time aimlessly knitting (she often does this topless, which is a welcome bonus). Raoul is so passionately in love that he puts Solange's happiness above his own, and he decides that maybe a change in partners will cure her doldrums. So, as the film opens, he casually selects a stranger in a restaurant (Patrick Dewaere, who previously co-starred with Depardieu in Blier's "Going Places") to become Solange's lover. He essentially engineers their coupling, and Solange passively goes along with the swap. How very French, no? Solange's spirits don't lift much as her new relationship grows, but the two men become friends in laboring together to nurture her. Eventually, the trio end up working at a summer boys camp, which leads to meeting a precocious lad (he's about 14) who manages to revive Solange more than the adult men could. Uh oh, bring on the morality police.
A gentler, warmer tale in comparison with Les Valseuses, this is a pointed, funny and engaging film slightly reminiscent of 'Harold & Maude'. All the cast are great and the ending perfect. Chapeau!
Oscar's BEST FOREIGN PICTURE crowner from French director/writer Bertrand Blier, whose cannon I have been contacted for the first time.
In a straightforward opening, the movie starts bluntly as a ménage-à-trois between a married couple Raoul (Depardieu) and Solange (Laure) and a stranger in the restaurant Stéphane (Dewaere), and proceeds along the romanticized "I am willing to do anything for the woman I love" commitment, in order to woo a sullen and fainting spells struck Solange, the two men pull out all their skills to earn Solange's smile but of no avail, the banters and collisions between Raoul and Stéphane spark adequate laughters in the first half of the picture (propelled by the exploitation of Laure's nudity and a shoehorned sidekick played by the one-of-the-kind Serrault), but two men is insatiable for Solange, who is just knitting and scrubbing all day (the recurring sweaters she knitted for various characters in the movie is too obtrusive to overlook), silently vexed by her sterility.
In the second half, the three encounter a precocious 13-year-old Christian (Riton) in a summer camp, whose high IQ combines a angelic appearance fills the hole of Solange's heart and her surging maternal rush, there are explicit scenes here are rather PG-13 vis-à-vis the underage Riton, but no alarmist needed since it is made of France and now is 21st century, but a sure thing is films like this are beyond doubt to receive the honor in the Oscar race now as 35 years ago, let's wait and see how BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (2013) will pan out. Anyhow, the dissolution of the trio is inevitable and Solange's comeuppance has been crafted out of a farcical yet remarkable fulfillment, considering how she is objectified as a dumb chick in the beginning, men and women are truly two species living in their lone realms where has no convergence at the end of the road.
The cast is rather personable, however there is a nostalgic sigh to see Depardieu in his exuberant youth with visible chin frame and square figure; and uncannily, the late Dewaere died of a mysterious suicide when he was 35 (in 1982) like his idol in the film, Mozart, but the two are plain goofy and comical with their own tact in sharing the same woman. Laure holds together an indecipherable image with her earthly body and distant beauty, Riton is an outstanding discovery given his demanding task to seduce a lady twice his age. Georges Delerue's winsome score is catchy and plays charmingly with the narrative arc. In a nutshell, GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEFS' advanced value of modern relationship and extensive pluck in digging into a taboo subject is recommendable and not fades away with the consumption of time.
As Smart as it is Crazy...
One of the most ridiculusly funny and hilarious comedy of ages !! Storyline is very very 'frenh'(!), trust me when I say this! Wonderful to watch.. simply great and abstruct movie. Acting and dialogues were so great.. can't but just laughing out loudly vibrating the whole room!!
Definitive one of My Favourite Films!!! Such a Funny Movie!!! Gérard Depardieu & Patrick Dewaere are such a Hillarious Duo!!! Like the Grotueske French Answer to Laurel & Hardy!!! And Carole Laure is so Sexy!!!
Raoul decides, that his wife Solange needs another man to satisfy her and to get her out of her lethargy. He chats up Stephane in a restaurant and Stephane agrees to join the relationship. But instead of meeting Solange's needs, he becomes Raoul's friend. They both develop a great male bonding, Solange stays as unhappy as she was before. The men really try to cheer her up and work very hard on that. They even have a fuck-schedule, but can't get her satisfied. She stays as depressed as she was before.
Solange finally begins to bloom, when a fourth person enters the relationship. The 13-year-old Christian. What starts as a mother/son relationship, soon becomes a sexual one. And Solange finally finds the fulfillment she was seeking for.
A wonderful movie. Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere always make a movie worthwhile for me. And Bertrand Blier understands it perfectly to develop the characters reasonably. Situational humour, little twists and turns and a soothing atmosphere make me want to change my life. Live it more spontaneous and to the fullest.
du tres bon blier tout simplement
le tandem dewaere depardieu toujours efficace