Raoul (Depardieu) loves his wife, Solange (Laure), but she is chronically miserable and unsatisfied. At a restaurant, he approaches a complete stranger, Stephane (Dewaere), and convinces him to take Solange as a lover, to “cheer her up.” But Solange never warms to Stephane or anyone else... until she meets Christian (Liebman), a 13-year-old boy who has more wisdom than his years.
Depardieu and Dewaere, the marauding duo from Blier’s “Going Places,” reunite for this satirical French comedy of manners, this time taking a wide turn into the absurd. Both Raoul and Stephane are comically earnest in their quest to find a suitable lover for solemn, unsmiling Solange, and puzzled by her lack of erotic joie de vivre. What develops is outrageous and unconventional, but Blier’s “Handkerchiefs” is also perceptive about love, sex, and the pursuit of happiness.