People have cited Maude as a classic example of the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl.” First of all, she was a woman, not a girl. Secondly, I really do not even like to acknowledge that archetype as a thing of validity. But Maude wasn’t just some outline of a person in a smock dress with bangs and a ukelele that swooped in to to bring poor Harold to life and then disappear leaving a trail of Smiths lyrics and Etsy projects. The importance of Maude in Harold’s life was that she was the first person he ever met that his soul recognized. Growing up in this wealthy world covered in artifice, everyone adhered to the societal conventions, never stepping out of turn for fear of differentiating themselves. For the first time, he met someone who had lived an actual life, who had struggled and had experiences and didn’t give a flying fuck about impressing anyone. His life is completely trite compared to hers, his sadness entirely unwarranted, and in her he sees what it truly means to be free. His nihilistic outlook on life is all of a sudden in complete juxtapostion to someone who has experienced actual horrors in her life yet has the ability to see the wonder in it all. She gave him a purpose to care and inspired him to be more and do more while never losing sight of himself. With other people Harold could never just be, but with Maude he could simply exist and that was enough. The story is compelling in the way that no matter how bizarre their situation may be, it still feels familiar. It speaks to the most human emotions inside all of us and if you’ve ever met a person that truly awakened your soul, there is simply no turning back.