Rating: 3 out of 5.

Harold and Maude is a 70s film of young man Harold (Bud Cort) lost in life but an unorthodox meeting with Maude (Ruth Gordon) leads him to a change. It’s a bit of a dark comedy with suicides, imagery of life and death, and everyone seems one dimensional. I always have trouble with dark comedy as the jokes are not emphasized. Harold is a young man from a wealthy family but is alone and finds no joy from his status. His mother cares more about her dinner parties and is controlling of Harold but not  in an abusive way. It is more of the generational gap between parent and child. As she knows what is best for Harold is  marriage or to join the army. Hell she fills out the form to the dating company herself. Hell she meets the girls not Harold and she is always there with them. Anyway Harold is depressed or lost in his place in life and is unsure what he wants. It could be the generation gap between Harold’s mother and himself. One of the times he makes his own choice of buying a car he wants and she replaced it displeased it.

The film gives a minor looking high class family with Harold large rooms and silences. The director has a great use of the soundtrack. The soundtrack enhances the characters emotions and echoes during the scenes in the mansion to tell how isolated Harold is. It is only when we meet Maude there is a slow change to Harold. Maude is full of life, her home is full of bric-a-brac and joy riding in borrowed cars. They are very different people that are in a transitional phase in their lives but one of them is stuck. I like the slow zoom during scenes as it shows the beauty of the scenery if they are in the middle of nowhere or not. It allows the characters a chance to breathe and show they are alone. As we grow up we lose people around us to changes from diseases, old age or just move away. But they will always have an impact on our lives and we will remember them. It could be locations we walk past every day and not pass a second thought but once it is gone then you think about that place more. 

I like that Harold and Maude gives a window into the early 1970 the mindset changing during the decade, but this is not a documentary. The unintentional jokes added by the sect pieces as portraits and what was masculinity then and compared with today. Harold is constantly surrounded by male figures that try to give him advice but ask him what he wants. The movie has a slow pace which allows you to get to know Harold and Maude. The scenery is beautiful, the vast mansion, the quiet contemplation of the graveyard. Harold and Maude’s soundtrack is used well as it strength the emotions and bring some up to the audience. Everyone grows up and that is universal but we are own person with our thoughts, fears, and dreams.

Harold and Maude can be streamed on Amazon Prime, TubiTV, Pluto TV