Get Out Your Handkerchiefs

Like Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis, or even Astaire and Rogers before them, Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere made for an impossible-to-replicate onscreen duo: a combination of lighter-than-air physicality, ridiculous anarchy, a genuine mutual affection, and individual electric charisma that, when combined together, made every frame of their pairing pop. In Bertrand Blier’s 1974 hit Going Places, they’re enigmatic, lecherous weirdos on the prowl — and in Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Blier’s 1978 Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language Film, they inhabit a more “adult”, but no less outré joint role. Our humble provocateur filmmaker stages a boorish Depardieu and a faux-sophistico Dewaere as loveable ignoramuses for whom pleasing their tag-team depressive paramour (Carole Laure) is a seemingly Sisyphean task — that is, until a 13-year-old boy genius gets in-between them all and points the true way to her happiness. Equal parts caustically cynical and lovingly tender, Handkerchiefs has more than its share of wry outbursts and satisfying emotional callbacks, even daring to offer a “happy ending” constructed out of the remarkable brand of absurd tragedy Blier pioneered in gems like this.
Dir. Bertrand Blier, 1978, 35mm, 108 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Get Out Your Handkerchiefs”!