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08 June 2007

Apropos of Nothing. . . I was remembering the first time I saw Harold and Maude, when it came out, back in the 70's. Loved the movie, and [More:]like most other people, there was a big "EWWWW" factor for me imagining the young Bud Cort getting nasty with Ruth Gordon. She seemed dessicated and not at all physically attractive, albeit with a certain Joi de Vive.

I rented it a few months ago, wanting to share with Daughter an old movie that I loved (this was a miss, among mostly hits, in her eyes, among my back catalogue of faves).

This time I was watching Ruth Gordon and she seemed rather hot to me. This is scary.
That is a great story.

Age is a funny thing. I've had equally scary moments in the other direction, such as seeing guys in Navy uniforms at a distance and getting kind of excited to check them out - until they got close enough for me to see that they were essentially children.
posted by Miko 08 June | 11:48
I am a sucker for romantic comedies and this is often listed among others as a favorite.

I just don't get it.
posted by Lola_G 08 June | 12:01
I liked it when I saw it, but I think it's one of those films you have to see at the right time in order to really enjoy it. 17 was the right time.
posted by Miko 08 June | 12:02
Ruth Gordon? No. Lauren Bacall, who's roughly the same age now? Sure.

Also, I will never understand the thing some women have about Navy uniforms. Sailors all look like Popeye to me.
posted by jonmc 08 June | 12:03
Also, Harold & Maude was my lesbian ex's favorite movie. That probably says something although I'm not sure what.
posted by jonmc 08 June | 12:04
I despise romantic comedies and Harold & Maude is one of my favorite movies, so I think the problem is that people shouldn't call it a romantic comedy. :)

On the age thing: a few months ago I got hit on by a guy who could have been my son, age-wise. I felt flattered and yet, oh so old.
posted by BoringPostcards 08 June | 12:05
Well if Ruth Gordon were still alive, I like to think that I'd have a shot.

Bacall, though? How would it get her into bed? Drugging her would be one of my only shots. As if she'd have a drink with me. Not that much of a fantasy, although I am sure that my Flickr hits would increase geometrically.
posted by danf 08 June | 12:08
Hell, BoPo, I've been hit on by women old enough to be my mother but they're usually alcoholic barflies. Take flattery where you find it, says I.
posted by jonmc 08 June | 12:08
Well, for what it's worth, Popeye isn't bad for a cartoon guy. He certainly is loyal to his Olives, and awfully cheerful and confident.

I think the Navy uniform effect is in the profile you get because of the cut -- it accentuates the broadness of shoulders and the narrowness of the torso.
posted by Miko 08 June | 12:10
Well, for what it's worth, Popeye isn't bad for a cartoon guy. He certainly is loyal to his Olives, and awfully cheerful and confident.

I could never understand why him and Bluto were always brawling over her. Homegirl looked like a hockey stick with hair. But I guess it was either her, the seahag or wimpy, so there you go.
posted by jonmc 08 June | 12:15
Yeah, I definitely agree that it's anything but the kind of movie that typically gets branded "romantic comedy." Even though it has lots of slapstick moments, I'm not even sure I'd consider it a comedy. Not sure what to call it, though, because it's not exactly a tragedy or a "drama" either. The whole thing is pretty boundary-blurring, come to think of it, in terms of story and genre.

As I've gotten older, I've noticed that my taste in who I find attractive has really expanded. There's still a narrow range that I'll always hold on a pedestal of physical perfection, but as time has gone on I've experienced more and more attractions based on so many other factors -- personality, sense of the who the person is, the right kind of interaction at the right time. I've even gone from considering myself a Kinsey 6 to considering myself, um, "homoflexible."

I sometimes think of attraction along the following analogy. Imagine you're in a dark room and you're shining a flashlight at the wall. If you hold the flashlight almost right up against the wall, you'll see a circle of very concentrated light. Let's say that circle represents the type of people you're attracted to, and the brightness represents the intensity of attraction. As I've gotten older, it's like the flashlight has pulled back further from the wall -- so the circle has gotten bigger, but also a bit more effuse. There's still a bright dot in the center, but it's not as bright as it once was. So now, attractions aren't as OMG INTENSE, but rather more fluid, nuanced, and even mysterious. I find it a very welcome change.
posted by treepour 08 June | 12:26
Excellent movie.
posted by JanetLand 08 June | 12:32
Harold and Maude is one of the all time great movies for psychedelic experiences gone awry. Whenever someone starts asking those bad kinds of questions or looking for a Bible, you can always sit em' down on the couch and pop in Harold and Maude. The Breakfast Club is also good for this. Neither of these movies scream trippin' to me, but man, they do the trick.
posted by solipsophistocracy 08 June | 13:00
I adore Harold and Maude. But as previously mentioned, it's not a romantic comedy. I'm not really sure what it is, but it's not a romantic comedy.

*runs off to put H & M on her Netflix queue*
posted by Specklet 08 June | 13:02
I remember thinking that I might be into that when I first watched it. Cuz yeah, I'd never gotten my "senior-on", right? So I planned a trip to Atlantic City by myself, and starting playing the slots next to an attractive older woman. Her name was Iris, she was 73. I remember she had a cool diamond salamander broach and she seemed generally classy. I told her she reminded me of Ruth Gordon a little, same spark of life. She seemed a little confused by that. I said I thought Ruth Gordon was attractive. Next thing I know we're making out in my hotel room. It felt nervous and awkward at first, but she was really good at calming me down. And we did it. I won't go into details, but it was kinda weird. We made afterglow jokes about "hitting the jackpot", etc. together. She even gave me "wrinkle job", which I'd never heard of before. I don't remember much about it - just wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles...
posted by Hellbient 08 June | 15:17
Sounds like a story my great-aunt Iris told me a few years ago.
posted by Hugh Janus 08 June | 15:22
Miko - I was squicked when I first saw it as a teenager, and I loved it when I finally watched it again about a year ago. I've only seen it the two times. Not a romantic comedy, no.
posted by rainbaby 08 June | 17:09
My elderly 10th grade English teacher had become very senile by the time I was in her class. She was a very sad and lonely woman who grew progressively more feeble minded as the year progressed. Our in-class "Christmas movie" before the break: Harold and Maude.

By spring they retired her; we finished the semester with a substitute teacher.
posted by D.C. 08 June | 21:30
You forgot Alice the Goon.
posted by brujita 09 June | 08:54
This is one of those threads I'm so glad I went back and had a chance to read. Hellbient, may some nice, firm young lady repay the favor someday. : )

I saw Harold and Maude for the first time as an adult, but I think it would be great to show my students (it's only rated PG, actually). It's a philosophy of life, I think. A Weltanschaaung. Goes great with Catcher in the Rye, too, which we just finished and my students loved (you might not think tough kids in the Bronx would go for Catcher, but it's surprising what they like sometimes).

My birth mother had a thing for older men. She was 29 when she had me, my father 53. I've had my crushes on older men, too. "Older" now, though, would mean 65+. Shit, I'd do Clint Eastwood in a second.
posted by Pips 09 June | 10:32
A Weltanschaaung. Goes great with Catcher in the Rye, too, which we just finished and my students loved (you might not think tough kids in the Bronx would go for Catcher, but it's surprising what they like sometimes).

Huh! That is surprising. I would have thought that they'd dismiss the book as corny and old-fashioned.

But they loved it.

posted by jason's_planet 09 June | 12:15
Hey rainbaby! || I really like Planters Heat Peanuts.