Harold and Maude was a film before its time. Almost universally panned by critics and a box-office flop, the film of two unlikely and lopsided lovers didn’t capture audiences until becoming a cult film years after its original release. The film’s general plot, that of a young man finding a geriatric lover, somehow became part of the popular consciousness that makes up American culture.
Harold and Maude is a dark comedy right out of the gate, and the entire film includes a body count framed in hilarious circumstances. At release, the comedy wasn’t recognized as good at all. However, the comedy in the film would be right at home if it were to be released today. With current jokes about the avant-garde nature of millennial humor and memes, the plot of a self-centered eighteen-year-old boy with suicidal tendencies seems perfect for today’s audiences.
Thematically, Maude as a character is a product of her time. An aging radical activist, her eccentricities tie her to Harold and to the culture of the late 60s and early 70s. The viewer themselves slowly begins to understand who she is through small realizations, much like the characters themselves. During the film, you’re never challenged with the morality fo the actions of the both of them, and instead you’re just along to watch at a distance, almost like Harold’s well-to-do family in a time of general cultural upheaval being led by activists all through the nation. While at the end you may not feel as though you’ve learned much, the film provides an unsuspecting ride that will entertain you as much as disgust.
Harold and Maude Drinking Game Rules
Take a drink…
- Whenever Harold fakes a suicide
- Whenever something is stolen
- At the beginning and end of every failed date
- For every death or funeral (whether perceived or real)
Take this list as a suggestion, and drink responsibly. As always, enjoy the show.