Harold and Maude

“I don’t like to tell lies.” -Hal Ashby

In the words of Greg Proops, this is the movie we need right now: While Orange 45 confuses and depresses us with chaos and misrule, we can grab life by the neck and give it a big kiss. Harold is a young man who doesn’t want to live. Maude is an older woman who has a talent for living. They meet at a funeral and the fun begins there. The quirky and intelligent Hal Ashby (Being There, Coming Home) made a poignant, romantic film that wasn’t initially a hit but became the very definition of a cult classic. Written by Colin Higgins (9 to 5), Harold and Maude is an amazingly moving comedy about life, love, loss, and family. Maude is a cheerleader for living your life, doing her best to persuade the suicidal Harold of what is important: singing, not respecting authority, and running around the world like a mad person. Ruth Gordon is delightful and wise as Maude, and Bud Cort, for better or worse, defined his career with his brilliant take on the morbid Harold. Come down to the movies with your friend or date and have some popcorn and soda and laugh and cry goddammit. LIVE, LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room.

Dir. Hal Ashby, 1971, 35mm, 91 min.