Young adult Harold Chasen, solitary and friendless by choice, is obsessed with death, this fascination manifesting itself in he staging his own fake suicides, driving a hearse and attending funerals, even of people he doesn't know, all to the chagrin of his exasperated wealthy mother with whom he lives. Mrs. Chasen is determined for Harold to be "normal", including her sending him into therapy to deal with his issues and finding him a girlfriend through a computer dating service. It is at a series of funerals that Harold meets Maude, on the cusp of her eightieth birthday, she who too attends funerals of strangers. Unlike Harold, Maude is obsessed with life - her own life to be more precise - she does whatever she wants to please herself, damned what others may think or how they may be affected. Since she can't take material possessions with her, she is more interested in experiences, with whatever material possessions she has - often "borrowed" without asking - only to further those ...Written by
[June 2008] Ranked #9 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Romantic Comedy". See more »
About 50 minutes into the film, when Maude is doing donuts around the officer, the driver-side window of the truck is alternately up/down between shots. See more »
[after spotting Harold hanging from a noose in the living room]
I suppose you think that's very funny, Harold... Oh, dinner at eight, Harold. And do try and be a little more vivacious.
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The self-destructive and needy wealthy teenager Harold (Bud Cort) is obsessed by death and spends his leisure time attending funerals, watching demolishing of buildings, visiting junkyards, simulating suicides trying to get attention of his indifferent, snobbish and egocentric mother and having sessions with his psychologist. When Harold meets the anarchist seventy nine year-old Maude (Ruth Gordon) at a funeral, they become friends and the old lady discloses others perspectives of the cycle of life for him. Meanwhile his mother enlists him in a dating service and tries to force Harold to join the army. On the day of the eightieth anniversary of Maude, Harold proposes her but he finds the truth about the end of the cycle of life.
The cult "Harold and Maude" was a huge success in Brazil for people of my generation with a refreshing and funny exposition of themes like death, love and life through the friendship and love of a teenager and a septuagenarian woman. The complex Harold is a young man that needs the attention of his indifferent mother. He found in his childhood the only moment that she really seemed to be worried about him after a serious accident in school and he uses to fake suicides trying to have the same attention back. Maude is an anarchist old woman not attached to material stuff like properties or collections that steals cars for self-locomotion. Along a few days, Maude gives a lesson of life to Harold, changing his behavior and feelings forever. The performances of Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort in this weird love story are unforgettable and the soundtrack with Cat Steven's songs is another plus. Unfortunately "Harold and Maude" has been forgotten in Brazil by the distributors and neither the VHS nor the DVD has been released in my country; I just have a tape recorded from the cable TV. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Ensina-me a Viver" ("Teach me to Live")
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