Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Get Out Your Handkerchiefs

(Préparez vos mouchoirs, France, 1978)

Google Translates renders the French title as Prepare Your Tissues. I like the title they went with better. And it’s quite an odd little movie. Gérard Depardieu is Raoul, married to Carole Laure as Solange. Things are not well between them. She is depressed, and he is distraught, believing that she is no longer interested in him. He accuses her of staring at a man, Patrick Dewaere as Stéphane, seated in another part of the restaurant from them, minding his own business. So he goes right up to Stéphane and says he can sleep with his wife. Naturally Stéphane is a bit nonplussed, but eventually he does. This weird relationship eventually evolves into a mutually satisfactory ménage à trois … well, to the men, anyway, though Solange seems rather indifferent to the whole thing. The men behave like nervous old women, panicking at every turn of events. A neighbor from the same building gets involved, but only as a friend. And then things get even weirder as Solange takes up with a 13-year-old child prodigy, Christian, who is being mercilessly bullied. Raoul and Stéphane end up kidnapping the boy to spend the weekend with Solange. It is all very comical, and the ending surprised me. It worked out fairly well for everyone, except for the six months the men had to serve for the abduction. It was a bit controversial at the time, and may still be, for all I know, but I didn’t really have a problem with it. It was all about love, after all.