I'm not very familiar with the work of Hal Ashby. Apart from seeing Being There years ago, I never really bumped into his, work with most of his oeuvre being a complete blank. Harold and Maude is a film with quite a legacy though, so I figured it was time to give Ashby another go. Much like Being There, I found a decent film that left me relatively cold.
At least Harold's character is pretty fun, with his gruesome fake suicide attempts lending the film a darker streak. This includes the deadpan reactions of his mother, who seems largely unfazed by Harold's cries for attention. The film takes a more dramatic turn when Harold meets Maude, an older lady where he finds the warmth and attention he's craving.
I liked the dark comedy elements, but they are rather few and far between. The dramatic portion of the film is less interesting, with a somewhat tepid relationship directing the plot, let down by the rather dull and unattractive cinematography and a middling soundtrack. At least it was short and good for a couple of chuckles, but that's about it.