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.
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.