Friday, May 13, 2005

Harold and Maude

I recently finished Harold and Maude, a black comedy about a death-obsessed teenager. Harold constantly fakes suicides, to the dismay of his mother, who is also trying to set him up on dates. He wanders through his days, attending funerals to pass the time, where he meets Maude, a 79 year old, and they strike up a friendship.

Harold scares off most of the girls that his mothers brings over, except one. To impress her, he fakes hari-kiri with a katana, only to have the girl embrace him and exclaim the suicide scene in Romeo and Juliet is her favorite, so she goes ahead and fakes her stabbing death.

So if this movie sounds a bit odd, you are correct! Harold and Maude are free spirits, and despite their huge age difference, fall in love and marry on Maude's 80th birthday. But, she decides to overdose on sleeping pills and the doctors at the hospital aren't able to save her. Harold drives off in anguish, and drives his car off a cliff. Of course, he isn't in it - this is another faked death.

I'm not sure what to make of the movie. It had its funny scenes, but the romance seemed a litte forced. Well, maybe that is just me reeling from considering a romantic love developing between people 60 years apart in age. There is a brief sex scene, just them laying in bed, which is modest enough so I didn't have to gouge my eyeballs out. ;)

Still, the movie's general theme is live life day to day and love - Maude's parting words to Harold were something like (I can't remember exactly) "you're free to love again"; we had something special and you keep living your life after I'm gone.

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