Review: ‘Preparez Vos Mouchoirs’

A rather bizarre mixture of gritty comedy, satire and delving into female status makes this a literary film. There is a lot of talk, sometimes good, but often edgy and too often pointless in lieu of a more robust visual dynamism and life.

A rather bizarre mixture of gritty comedy, satire and delving into female status makes this a literary film. There is a lot of talk, sometimes good, but often edgy and too often pointless in lieu of a more robust visual dynamism and life.

Gerard Depardieu is first seen in closeup talking to his pretty but vacant-looking wife in a restaurant. He insists he loves her enough to give her to another man. He picks on a bespectacled young man (Patrick Dewaere) and talks him into going with his wife. The wife (lovely Canadian thesp Carole Laure) accepts. But it does not quite work.

The three go off to a summer camp run by Dewaere where there is a 13-year-old quiz kid picked on by the others. Laure warms to him and lets him sleep with her as her husband and suitor read books together. The boy, a long-haired, shrewd innocent, manages to tap her need for a child and uses it to become her lover.

Blier did the more anarchic tale of two semi-delinquents living on women and society, Going Places, which launched Dewaere and Depardieu. Now they do a sort of comedy team number rather than imbuing their roles with human insight. Film stays in the realm of ideas.

1978: Best Foreign Language Film

Preparez Vos Mouchoirs

France

Production

Ariane/CAPAC. Director Bertrand Blier; Screenplay Bertrand Blier; Camera Jean Penzer; Editor Claudine Merlin; Music Georges Delerue

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1977. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Gerard Depardieu Patrick Dewaere Carole Laure Riton Michel Serrault Eleonore Hirt
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