DVD review: 'Love Story'
Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes the Blu-ray edition of one of the most commercially popular and critically polarizing romantic heartbreakers of all time, “Love Story.”
Many critics slagged this weeper for being shamelessly manipulative, contrived and soapy, blowing raspberries at the film’s most famous line — “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” — for being a ridiculous sentiment.
Perhaps it is. But for those of us who are suckers for a good old fashioned boy-meets-girl tear fest — and there must be a bunch of us, judging from the millions raked in by the film and the Erich Segal novel on which it was based — this is melodramatic manna from heaven.
As the title indicates, this Arthur Hiller-directed piece is told with beautiful simplicity, giving away its tragic ending with the opening voice-over from Ryan O’Neal as Oliver Barrett IV: “What can you say about a 25-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, The Beatles, and me?”
Man. You’re instantly hooked. You’ve just got to know what the heck happened. Cut to flashback: Harvard law student Oliver meets music student Jennifer Cavilleri (Ali MacGraw), who’s attending Radcliffe on a scholarship. They start out shooting verbal barbs at each other and soon fall hopelessly in love. He’s the son of a Boston elitist (Ray Milland) and she’s the daughter of a poor Italian widower (John Marley). When they decide to marry, Oliver’s father disowns him. Jenny makes an unsuccessful attempt to reconcile the Barrett men, and the couple must struggle to put Oliver through law school with Jenny working as a teacher. They trust that love will find a way, but luck won’t have it. Be sure to have some Kleenex handy.
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