COUGAR LOVE

(Hal Ashby, 1971). Lost in the shuffle when first released, this often moving oddball black comedy about the relationship between a depressed affluent young man (Bud Cort) and an elderly arty peace-loving swinger who poses nude (Ruth Gordon) has since become a cult favorite. By Elliott Stein

Claire drove a hearse on Six Feet Under, but she wasn't the first teenager to have that idea. The death-obsessed Harold in Harold and Maude is the prototype for today's soft-spoken, brainy hipster boy. In the delightful cult film from 1971, backed by an invigorating Cat Stevens soundtrack, he fake-hangs himself right into the loving arms of a septuagenarian firecracker with a revolutionary outlook on life. Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon are wonderful as the quirky May-December lovers, but Vivian Pickles, as Harold's rich and nosy mom, is a truly brilliant work of art. If you have somehow managed not to have seen this movie yet, it could quite possibly be a revelation for you. By Sharyn Jackson
Mon., July 20, 5 p.m., 2009


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