Harold and Maude (1971)

Starring Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner, Ellen Geer, Eric Christmas, G. Wood, Judy Engles, Shari Summers

Directed by Hal Ashby

Expectations: Kinda low. I remember liking it a lot, but I’m not excited to watch it again.


I was supposed to start writing this review about an hour ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to start. Most movies I have no problem finding something to write about, but rarely there comes a movie where I’m just dumbfounded as to what to say about it. I’m unsure that this will be a review of any worth, but I’ll do my best. It’s not that I didn’t like Harold and Maude; I enjoyed it a lot (although less so than the first time I saw it roughly 12 years ago), and maybe that’s as good a place to start as any.

I think the main reason I enjoyed it less this time was that I wasn’t as able to connect with the main character, Harold. He’s a rich, bored teenager who amuses himself by staging fake but elaborate suicide attempts for his mother to find. This fascination with death is one that Harold and I share, and while I never play acted setting myself on fire or seppuku, I know the feeling. I was a teen myself the first time I saw this, and my dark sense of humor and my lack of direction made Harold an instant surrogate for me. But now, years later, while I still harbor many of the same thoughts, I don’t feel quite so dislocated and directionless, and therefore I find the film harder to connect with.

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