A modern day cult classic about a young boy with a morbid fascination of death and faking his own, who ultimately meets and falls in love with an ancient old woman full of moxie, living day to day as fullest as possible.The film’s unusualness, it’s unpredictability, is a wonderful feeling; it is obvious that Harold and Maude — the movie and the title characters — walk on a different side of the street, and while the film wears that on its sleeve and is proud of that sensibility, it is never taken advantage of or elevated to an excessive level. If anything, it leaves the audience (or me at least) craving for more of the same, and maybe that is one of the reasons as to why it has gained a cult status. There is a certain dated tactility to the film, reminiscent of its Seventies milieu, but it is accompanied by a pleasant touch and taste, not so much in the ideal of vintage, but rather surefire maturity. Hal Ashby heeds much restraint in his direction, proving to be neither superfluous and lopsided or underwhelming and empty. The two lead performances are simply wonderful and immaculate; the disquieting uneasiness of young Bud Cort, unpolished yet still magnificently manifested. And Ruth Gordon, touching and eloquent, is fully vivacious and her calm quietude and approach makes her character flawless. Is it me, or doesn’t everyone want to hang out with this dyad? The true test to pass is if you are worried and unsure over the final glaik.
With Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Ellen Greer and Tom Skerritt.[Masterpiece.]