Inverarity (inverarity) wrote,

Movie Review: Harold and Maude

This is such a 70s movie. I had heard of it but never seen or had any interest in seeing it, and when I read the description, my first reaction was "Ew."


But I have to admit, after rather reluctantly being talked into Netflixing it, that it was kind of awesome. Okay, actually, it was really awesome. And weird. And disturbing. And so fucking 70s. And ew.

So, our boy Harold is a super-privileged poor little rich boy with a suffocating, emasculating mother who is utterly unfazed by Harold's repeated suicide attempts. Harold has become something of a performance artist.

Harold and Maude - hanging
Harold and Maude - drowning
Harold and Maude - shooting
Harold and Maude - slashing
Harold and Maude - gasoline
Harold and Maude - chopping
Harold and Maude - driving

Besides staging gory suicides, this weird, depressive teenager has a hobby of attending random strangers' funerals, which is where he meets Maude, a free-spirited 79-year-old. Maude introduces Harold to new hobbies, such as joyriding in random vehicles, leading police on chases, and sex with septuagenarians.


Surprisingly enough, when they actually go there, it's not that "Ew." Harold and Maude manages to be both a darkly humorous satire with pointed 70s-era commentaries on war, conformity, and authority figures, and a light-hearted romcom. There are surprisingly touching moments, though my overall reaction throughout the movie remained "WTF?" From the porn-stached cop with his oh-so-symbolic tiny little gun to Harold's military officer uncle with his pathetic prosthetic saluting arm to Maude's very... interesting "self portrait" sculpted in wood, the movie is full of imagery to make you do a double-take and laugh out loud. And Bud Court's deadpan facial expressions make each scene.

harold and maude

This was an early indie film with more wit and weirdness than comes out of any mainstream Hollywood film then or now. It's like The Graduate meets Heathers and they have a bastard romcom love child with a Cat Stevens soundtrack.

Tags: movies, netflix

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