Get Out Your Handkerchiefs  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (Préparez vos mouchoirs) is a 1978 French romantic comedy film directed by Bertrand Blier and starring Carole Laure, Gérard Depardieu, Patrick Dewaere and Riton Liebman. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 51st Academy Awards.

The film tells the story of a ménage à trois in which two men share a woman to cure her of an unexplained depression, with many symptoms. Eventually, she begins an affair with an underage boy. The film employs heavy references to historical musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, combined with the music of the film's composer Georges Delerue, who won the César Award for Best Original Music. Get Out Your Handkerchiefs was a critical success.


Raoul and his wife Solange are eating in a restaurant when Raoul expresses concern with Solange's apparent depression, as she eats little, suffers migraines and insomnia, and also sometimes faints. He finds another man in the room, Stéphane, to be her lover and hopefully enliven her again. Stéphane is puzzled by Raoul's plan, but gives in to his desperate appeals for help. The two men take turns sleeping with Solange, and both try to impregnate her without success, believing a lack of a child to be the source of her depression. Stéphane also shares his love for the music of Mozart and paperbacks with the two and their neighbour grocer. The music inspires the men, but not Solange.

Raoul, Solange, and Stéphane work at a boys' camp in the summer, where they meet a 13-year-old math prodigy named Christian Belœil, who is bullied by the other boys. Solange becomes protective of Christian and one night lets him sleep in her bed. She awakes to find Christian exploring her body and scolds him. They make up and have sex, despite a drastic age difference. Afterwards, Solange becomes dependent on the boy, to the point where Raoul, Stéphane, and she kidnap him from his boarding school. Christian eventually impregnates her, and the film ends with Raoul and Stéphane walking away after serving six months in prison.


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