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The Film List Project #24: Harold and Maude

Seeing a movie you really connect with is pretty rare, but when it happens, it's incredibly special. It's a story you can hold on to forever, something that will always stay the same no matter how much your life has changed.

That's how I feel about the movie I watched this week: 1971's Harold and Maude. I see a lot of movies I can say I loved, that I can say are good, that I can say I got something out of, but this movie is in a league of its own.

The movie explores life, death, relationships, and adolescence in both a respectful and unique way. A lot of its success comes from its titular characters.

Harold is a young man obsessed with death, while Maude is an old woman who sees the beauty of life. When the two become friends, beautiful things start to happen that nobody around them can fully understand.

When I grow up, I want to be Maude. We have a lot in common already: we drive poorly, collect things, love nature, and see beauty in the world through its differences. Still, there's so much more I can learn from Maude.

Normally, I'd say Maude's fearlessness comes with living on Earth for nearly 80 years, but she's a completely different case. Her life stories indicate that her fearlessness and unwavering optimism are essential parts of her character.

While we aren't all born with Maude's attitude, we can learn from it. The way Maude sees the world changes Harold's life for the better, and it certainly has changed mine.

We hear people lecture about optimism and fearlessness, but it's only when we see those principles affect a person, whether that person is real or fictional, that we can see how it could affect our lives.

I end this post with a challenge: whether you see the film or not, be more like Maude. The world will be a lot brighter if you do.

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