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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sean Kelly

Blindspot: The Cult of 2013: Harold and Maude

harold_and_maude

Yeah, this was an odd one.

Harold and Maude focuses on a rich young man named Harold (But Cort), who is obsessed with death.  Harold is repeatedly faking suicides, much to the annoyance of his mother, who tries to set him up with various young women.  While at one of the many funerals he frequents, Harold meets an old woman named Maude (Ruth Gordon).  Despite pushing 80, Maude is a somewhat crazy free spirit, who is always doing outrageous acts, like stealing cars or uprooting trees from the sidewalk to plant in the forest.  Harold quickly finds himself falling for Maude, in one of the strangest on-screen romances you will ever see.

For some reason, I expected Harold and Maude to be a darker film than it turned out to be.  While the film can still be classified as a dark comedy, I didn’t really feel that it had enough of an edge to it.  Even though there’s an inherent creepiness about a guy in his early 20s falling in love with someone 60 years his senior, the film doesn’t really take this far enough.  I think part of this is due to the time period that the film was made in, since there were some scenes that were intended to be filmed, such as a love scene between Harold and Maude, that was rejected by the studio.  I will say though that some of Harold’s many fake suicides come off ask somewhat shocking (and inventive).  However, that aspect of the film seems more like a quirky side plot, than anything of real importance.

Also notable about the film is a soundtrack of songs by Cat Stevens.  It’s almost as if Harold and Maude was trying to replicate the Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack of The Graduate, which was released four years prior.  In some ways, the soundtrack was my least favourite aspect of the film, since the songs didn’t really seem to have anything to do with the plot.  However, the music does work at the start of the film, since it makes Harold’s first fake suicide all the more unexpected.

Overall, I would say that Harold and Maude is a film that I can either take or leave.  I can probably see why people consider the film to be a cult classic, however the film didn’t really end up being all that memorable for me.

7 | FAIR 

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).