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Preparez Vos Mouchoirs [DVD]
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Preparez vos mouchoirs [Get Out Your Hankerchiefs]
"substantial and sophisticated" New York Times
An unlikely winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar - not because it didn t thoroughly deserve it, but because that award usually goes to far less provocative films than Bertrand Blier s outrageous quasi-romantic comedy about French social and sexual mores (the title means Get Out Your Handkerchiefs , but it s not just tears that need mopping up). Solange (Carole Laure) is deeply depressed, and her utterly devoted but deeply concerned husband Raoul (Gérard Depardieu) decides that the solution is for complete stranger Stéphane (Patrick Dewaere, Depardieu s sparring partner in Blier s earlier Les Valseuses) to become her lover. But while this new arrangement turns Raoul and Stéphane into firm friends, Solange remains deeply dissatisfied, until a trip to the countryside leads to a chance encounter with Christian (Riton Liebman), who, unlike the other men in her life, is interested in her mind as well as her body. There s just one little problem...
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Here the leading female character (not heroine, she is deeply unsympathetic) is completely passive. Her devoted husband decides he is not satisfying her sexually, so tries to find a man who can. After a lot of unlikely situations she finds someone. Here is the disturbing bit, he is a thirteen year old schoolboy at a Summer camp. Never mind that he is precocious, intelligent, alienated from his peers and that they form a real emotional as well as physical bond, he is thirteen (although the actor was older, I think).
If you do not want to know the result, look away now.
She ends up leaving the loving husband and equally devoted lover to become housekeeper to the boys family and presumably carry on with their affair (what were his parents thinking of?) while the men look through the windows.
The film has some good touches, I rather liked her sitting there in the nude knitting jumpers for them all, but it isn't one of Blier's best and the paedophilic aspects added to my disatisfaction with this film.
I have given it three stars, because he can't make a bad film and maybe I'm overreacting (I find older men having relationships with young girls creepy too, which most people don't seem to mind), so watch it and decide for yourselves.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"All Regions". It wouldn't play at all on my system. It only works in England. The other version with the blue cover is "USA Region 1" but it's G rated (?) and only in French. I can't understand why Amazon USA sells DVDs in both foreign and American formats. It's confusing and misleading.