10 Incredibly Dark Comedies That Dare You To Laugh

9. Harold And Maude (1971)

Harold (Bud Cort) is a death-obsessed young man who regularly stages his own suicide (see above) and, as a hobby, enjoys going to strangers' funerals. Maude (Ruth Gordon) is a septuagenarian free spirit who lives in a converted railway carriage and, as a hobby, also enjoys attending funerals. Naturally, it is here that the two meet - and an unlikely relationship is formed. Despite Maude's joie de vivre proving just the cure for Harold's morbid outlook, his mother (Vivian Pickles), annoyed by Harold's incessant attention-seeking, is determined to find him a wife. However, taking the disastrous first date to its extreme, Harold has a variety of escape plans: seppuku, self-immolation, slicing off his hand... Needless to say, his prospective partners don't call back. Although the film can be a little preachy in places, and its final scenes seem to send a mixed message, Hal Ashby's second feature has lost precious little of its ability to shock. Darkest Comedy Moment: Although Harold appears to 'die' around eight times in the film, the scene in which he points a shotgun at his mother, who is too busy filling out a dating service survey on his behalf to notice, before turning it on himself is surely the most awkward.
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Yorkshireman (hence the surname). Often spotted sacrificing sleep and sanity for the annual Leeds International Film Festival. For a sample of (fairly) recent film reviews, please visit whatsnottoblog.wordpress.com.