I’ve only seen Harold and Maude once, and that was nearly 20 years ago. I watched it because my favourite band at the time, Levitation, pretentiously described it as having “wit, pathos and existentialism”, though I’d say it was “funny, moving and thought-provoking”. It’s just come out on DVD, and this feature from The Atlantic is making me want to see it again.
Harold (Bud Cort) is 19 and addicted to faking his own suicide. Maude is 79 with a penchant for gatecrashing funerals. They fall in love and plan to marry, much to the horror of Harold’s socialite family.
Harold’s morbidity is played off against Maude’s spritely verve, and I remember thinking that the film was absolutely delightful. I’m looking forward to seeing it again to find out if I’ll enjoy it as much a second time around.
This fan-made trailer is a good demo reel, only the quote is incorrect: their relationship is not platonic. The line I remember above all is the one from the priest: “I would be remiss in my duty, if I did not tell you, that the idea of… intercourse – your firm, young… body… comingling with… withered flesh… sagging breasts… flabby b-b-buttocks… makes me want… to vomit.”