- Movie Rating -

Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1979)

| January 19, 1979

One of the drawbacks of being a movie lover is, very often, watching very bad films walk away with the Oscar while better films are left in the dust.  In my recent history with the Oscars this has been the case with Gladiator, The Blind Side, Green Book, The Usual Suspects, Crash, The Cider House Rules, The Theory of Everything, Bohemian Rhapsody, and most recently, that embarrassing biopic of Judy Garland.

That can also be actively applied to Bertrand Brier’s ungodly concoction Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, which fooled millions into mistaking its sheer, unbridled stupidity for clever farce.  It is a mystery to me why so many critics and academy voters bought into such an overbearing barrel of collective stupidity.

I hate even having to describe this nonsense but for completion sake here goes: Solange (Carole Laure is so depressed that she has stopped sleeping, stopped eating, stopped smiling and has fainting spells.  She spends her days knitting and doing housework.  Her husband Raoul, for some reason, thinks that the only thing that the best way to bring her out of her funk is to enlist the help of another man to be her lover – because, well, obviously she’s a depressed woman so that means that she’s not getting enough of the “good stuff.”

The guy that Raoul hires is a dolt named Stephane.  He’s a stranger who listens to Mozart and has a weird fascination with pocket books.  Needless to say, his presence doesn’t help.

The neighborhood busy-bodies decide that the best remedy for her funk is to have a child but neither Raoul nor Stephane can get her pregnant (this won the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film, folks).  So, in order to get away from it all, Solange, Raoul and Stephane take a job running a summer camp.  There she takes pity on Christian a brilliant 13-year-old boy who is bullied by the other kids.  Solange and Christian become lovers – yes, lovers.  Turns out this is what she needs to bring her around.

I was offended by this movie, not just that the fact that she has sex with a child but by the ideas presented here, particularly the misogynistic notion that a woman can only be made happy through sex and child birth, and the suggestion that all she really needed to be happy was to be a pedophile.  Worse, the movie tries to claim that her association with Christian was from the heart and that age doesn’t matter.  Well, just look at the scenes of the two of them sitting in bed together and try to tell me their mutual attraction is justification for what this movie is trying to shovel out.  This is unbelievable.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy, Foreign