Wednesday, February 8, 2017

'Harold and Maude' on the Central Park lawn is the perfect antidote to Valentine's treacle

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 9:54 AM

click to enlarge gal_harold_and_maude.jpg
2017: The year the world fell apart. 2017: The year that Harold and Maude somehow got classified as a popcorn flick. So there's that silver lining that we've all been searching for. There was a temptation to chuckle pretentiously about the pitch-black humor of the 1971 Hal Ashby deathtrip masterpiece being considered mass-market enough for a free screening in a bucolic outdoor setting to a bunch of unsuspecting families, but we're too busy looking up helicopter charters so we can be airdropped into the front row. Because, come on, Harold and Maude is a goddamn beautiful movie. The tale of the star-crossed and, um, unconventional love (but really, what is conventional anymore?) between a 78-year-old woman and a 20-ish man who bond over a fascination with death and a realization that the world is fucked and you'd better grab any shred of happiness and human connection while you can, is just a timeless piece of filmmaking. Is it morbid? Yes, but so is the world. Does it have heart? 24-karat gold; it's one for the ages. The performances are spot-on, the surreal and absurdist humor stands up, and even the garish, oversaturated color palettes have aged incredibly well. This film even made us enjoy a Cat Stevens song. The perfect antidote to Valentine's Day treacle.

7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 | Central Park, North Park Avenue and West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park | | free

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