Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles
Runtime: 91 minutes
Year of Release: 1971
A classic in every sense of the word, "Harold and Maude" is perhaps one of the very few movies out there that perfectly nails the blend of comedy, drama, and romance.
About a death-obsessed young boy's admiration for a much older, eccentric woman, the film benefits from having perhaps one of the best opening scenes in cinema history. A scene that serves as a marvelous introduction to Harold's complex character that also perfectly set up the narrative's comedic tone as well as its dramatic one. A tone elevated throughout the film by the exceptionally layered and hilarious performances by Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, and Vivian Pickles, whose interactions with each other were nothing short of hypnotizing. The narrative is also driven by John Alonzo's very effective cinematography and Cat Stevens' incredibly fitting soundtrack, which certainly has its place as one of the most memorable soundtracks ever assigned to a movie.
However, what truly made this movie one to remember was the irrefutable chemistry between Harold and Maude, two characters with opposing personalities that only made their connection more special. A connection amazingly juxtaposed by the one shared between Harold and his mother. The themes of life and death are beautifully tackled through these relationships, only rendering them deeper and more engaging.
"Harold and Maude" is a heartwarming, beautiful, and hilarious roller coaster of emotions that will surely make you smile more than once. Definitely check it out.
FINAL GRADE: 9/10 (Amazing)