Thursday, February 6, 2014
531. Harold and Maude (1971)
Running Time: 91 minutes
Directed By: Hal Ashby
Written By: Colin Higgins
Main Cast: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Eller Geer
Click here to view the trailer
AND THEN THERE'S MAUDE...
Just so we're all clear, I HAVE NOT forgotten about the "January Recap", I've just been focusing all of my efforts on watching these final few movies and getting this season tucked away, so that I can start working on the next set of 100. Anyway, I promise it WILL get done, as soon as I finish up these final few movies, which will probably be Tuesday. Anyway - "Harold and Maude".
Harold (Cort) is a young man who is obsessed with death; visiting funerals for fun and staging elaborate suicide attempts, mainly doing the latter to get his mother's attention. His mother, Mrs. Chasen (Pickles), is a member of the bourgeois society, who enjoys giving dinner parties and fixing her Harold up on dates, trying to marry him off. Harold isn't at all interested in the dates his mother sets up. Later, Harold meets Maude (Gordon), an elderly, full of life woman who wants nothing more than to befriend Harold. The two meet while visiting funerals, something that she also likes to do, although for different reasons. Maude is grateful for her nearly eighty years on Earth and savors every minute of life, while Harold wonders if life is really worth living. Anyway, the two hit it off and form an unlikely friendship (unlikely friendships are the best kinds for cinema). After a while, Harold falls in love with Maude and Maude doesn't necessarily deflect his romantic interests. A perfect Cat Stevens score accompanies the film.
I mean, that's really all there is to it. They meet, the become friends, they become lovers, the end. It's a simple story and it works. However, I feel like I should've liked this one a little bit more than I did. Don't get me wrong, I really liked it. However, it just felt like it left me wanting just a bit more from it and I can't even put my finger on a particular flaw or a particular something that kept me from enjoying this one more. The story was perfectly fine and right up my alley. The Cat Stevens songs were also up my alley, as I've always enjoyed his music. The whole mood and atmosphere were right on and the story flowed along nicely, perhaps even a little rushed, if anything. Perhaps my main problem was a story that was just TOO simple. It was pretty cut & paste type stuff and while it was 1971 and not AS cut & paste as it would be today, the prospect of an unlikely friendship between boy and old woman isn't THAT unique.
I almost feel guilty or that I've crossed the line of being way too picky, because I feel like to pick on this movie is unnecessary. It totally works for the most part and I think almost everybody that watches it is going to love it. And hey, I really liked it too. I'm just saying that it left me wanting a little bit more. Gordon was great, Cort was really good and they managed to pinpoint a chemistry that worked onscreen. Whether or not I'd go so far as to consider it a favorite will have to remain to be seen. I'll definitely be thinking about this one heavily leading into the TOP 20 list and I'd say it has a 70/30 shot of making a "Ten Worth Mentioning" spot, this becoming something that I WOULD consider a favorite.
RATING: 7/10 Don't be surprised if every review I write from now until the TOP 20 is on the short side, as I'm going to be squeezing in watching movies and writing reviews whenever I can until then and may be fighting off tiredness in the process.
MOVIES WATCHED: 795
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 206
February 6, 2014 5:36pm
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