Sunday, 22 August 2010

Maude Loves Harold.

Until a few months ago, I had somehow got through life without seeing the truly wonderful 'Harold & Maude'. Immediately after my first viewing, I decided it was now one of my favourite films, even making it into my elusive top five. It's that good. For you unfortunate souls who haven't seen it, allow me to tell you a little about it. Nineteen year old Harold is a funny little creature morbidly obsessed with death, and his greatest pleasure in life is attending strangers funerals, driving his hearse and staging elaborate faux-suicides. His hilarious aristocratic mother decides it is time for Harold to get married (!) and so signs him up to a dating agency, with rather amusing consequences. 

Meanwhile, a familiar face keeps popping up at Harold's beloved funerals - the tiny, free-spirited and, frankly, genius Maude. The two soon become great pals, and before long, romance blossoms. There is only one teeny, tiny lil' problem - Maude is almost eighty years of age. This minor issue doesn't stop the two gradually falling in love, bringing joy to Harold for the first time in his short life. 

Of course, outsiders are thoroughly repulsed by the scenario at hand, with the local priest telling Harold: 'I would be remiss in my duty, if I did not tell you, that the idea of... intercourse - your firm, young... body... commingling with... withered flesh... sagging breasts... flabby b-b-buttocks... makes me want... to vomit.' And yes, they do eventually express their feelings in a physical fashion, but instead of actually showing them do the deed, we just see Maude blissfully sleeping whilst Harold casually blows some post-coital bubbles. It's more or less the best thing I've ever seen.

As ever, I shan't say too much for fear of ruining this delightful film for you. As well as being oh-so-interesting, it is a wonderfully comic film. Some of the subtle details are the funniest - for example, Harold's knowing look at the camera after successfully scaring off his first arranged date. Wes Anderson has named this film as both one of his favourites and most influential, and it shows - if you find his films wonderful, you'll like this, and vice versa. 

On a closing note, I need this poster in my room and my life. To any loved ones reading... treat me?

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