The love story of young adults Oliver Barrett IV and Jenny Cavilleri is told. Oliver comes from an extremely well off and old money New England family, the Barrett name which holds much gravitas and which is plastered especially all over Harvard where Oliver is in pre-law. Like those before him, he plans on attending Harvard Law School, which is not an issue in either the school not accepting him or he not wanting to attend. He has an extremely stiff relationship with his parents, especially his father, Oliver Barrett III, who loves his son in the old school way. Jenny, a music student at Radcliffe, comes from a working class Rhode Island background, she working her way through the program before she plans on going to Paris to further her studies. Unlike Oliver's relationship with his father, Jenny has a very casual one with her baker father, who she calls by his given name Phil. When Oliver and Jenny meet, there are immediate fireworks - she always with a quick quip to put him in his...Written by
A box office phenomenon at the time (this was one of those movie that people reportedly waited in line for hours to see), LOVE STORY has continued to be ridiculed by cynics and adored by romantics for decades. The secret to the film's ultimate effectiveness is in it's simplicity. Director Arthur Hiller wisely films Eric Segal's screenplay (an adaptation of his own best-selling novel) in a concise and straightforward manner, allowing audiences to become enamored with the characters and involved with their plight. The film even manages to make subtle commentary on class struggles, personal identity, and even the changing attitudes of religion, all of which while never appearing preachy or obvious under Hiller's unpretentious direction.
Ali MacGraw brings an undeniable spunk to her characterization here which helps undercut the potential sentimentality of the picture, and lends the finale a greater emotional punch. The natural handsomeness and effortless charm of Ryan O'Neal is used to exceptional effect, and the supporting performances of Ray Milland and John Marley (as two very different types of fathers) are terrific. This is a film that never attempts to disguise it's own thematic manipulations, which may very be why it remains so effective. French composer Francis Lai's haunting original score further enhances the film, which is justifiably considered by many to be one of the all-time tearjerkers.
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