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Film: Love Story

What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles. And me.
Oliver Barrett

Love means never having to say you're sorry.
Jennifer Cavalleri and later Oliver Barrett

A 1970 feature film about a rich college student named Oliver who falls in love with a working-class student named Jenny. Considered a classic romance film—it's #9 on AFI's "100 Passions" list—as well as the mother of all Tear Jerkers. Based on the novel of the same name by Erich Segal.

This film provides examples of:

  • 555: When Jenny goes to call Oliver's parents, he gives her a real-sounding phone number, followed by her dialing 555-5555.
  • Award Bait Song: "Love Story", especially the Andy Williams version.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished / Victorian Novel Disease: Taken to such an extreme level it made Roger Ebert coin the term "Ali MacGraw Disease": a "movie illness in which the only symptom is that the sufferer grows more beautiful as death approaches."
    • Lampshaded in the MAD parody, in which the doctor describes this to Oliver as an actual symptom of her illness. By the time she's lying on her deathbed, smiling radiantly, she's too beautiful to look directly at.
  • Book Ends: The movie starts and ends with the male protagonist at Central Park during winter.
  • Boy Meets Girl
  • Chick Flick
  • Downer Ending
  • Expository Theme Tune
    Where do I begin
    To tell the story of how great a love can be?
    The sweet love story that is older than the sea?
    The simple truth about the love she brings to me?
    Where do I start?
  • How We Got Here
  • Locked Out of the Loop: The doctor tells Oliver how sick Jenny is, but not her. Oliver decides to keep it from her for quite a while but she eventually finds out. She takes it surprisingly well (see the page quote)
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Oliver's father cuts all ties with his son for choosing to marry below his class, not that Oliver helps matters any. Luckily, he changes his mind at the end when he finds out Jenny is ill and that Oliver needs to pay for her treatment. They make up at the end.
  • Security Cling: Jenny's last request to Oliver before she dies.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: How Jenny and Oliver start out
  • Soap Opera Disease
  • Spoiler Opening: "What can you say about a 25-year-old girl who died?"
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Ray Milland as Oliver's father.

The Love GuruCreator/ParamountMajor League
Five Easy PiecesAcademy AwardM*A*S*H
Lonely Rich KidAdministrivia/Needs a Better DescriptionLunar: Dragon Song
Little Big ManFilms of the 1970sM*A*S*H

alternative title(s): Love Story
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