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Love Story

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Love Story (1970)

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Love means never having to say you're sorry

Harvard Law student Oliver Barrett IV and music student Jennifer Cavilleri share a chemistry they cannot deny - and a love they cannot ignore. Despite their opposite backgrounds, the young couple put their hearts on the line for each other. When they marry, Oliver's wealthy father threatens to disown him. Jenny tries to reconcile the Barrett men, but to no avail. Oliver and Jenny continue to build their life together. Relying only on each other, they believe love can fix anything. But fate has other plans. Soon, what began as a brutally honest friendship becomes the love story of their lives.

Love Story is a 1970 romantic drama film written by Erich Segal, who also authored the best-selling novel of the same name. It was directed by Arthur Hiller and starred Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw.

A tragedy, the film is considered one of the most romantic of all time by the American Film Institute (#9 on the list). It was followed by a sequel, Oliver's Story (1978), starring O'Neal with Candice Bergen.

Love Story also features John Marley and Ray Milland. It included the film debut of Tommy Lee Jones in a minor role.

Oliver Barrett IV comes from a family of wealthy, well-respected Harvard University graduates. At a library, the Harvard student/hockey player meets Jennifer "Jenny" Cavalleri, a quick-witted working-class Radcliffe College student, and they quickly fall in love.

Upon graduation from college, the two decide to marry against the wishes of Oliver's father, who severs ties with his son.

Without his father's financial support, the couple struggles to pay Oliver's way through Harvard Law School with Jenny working as a private-school teacher. They rent the top floor of a house near the Law School at 119 Oxford Street, in the Agassiz neighborhood of Cambridge adjacent to a laundromat. Oliver graduates third in his class and takes a position at a respectable New York law firm.

Now the 24-year-olds are ready to start a family, but they can't seem to conceive and they consult a medical specialist. After many tests, Oliver is informed that Jenny is terminally ill. Her exact condition is never stated explicitly, but she appears to have leukemia.

As instructed by his doctor, Oliver attempts to live a "normal life" without telling Jenny of her condition, but she finds out after confronting her doctor about her recent illness. She begins costly cancer therapy, and soon Oliver is desperate enough over the mounting expenses to seek financial relief from his father. The senior Barrett asks if he "got some girl in trouble," and Oliver says yes instead of revealing the truth.

From her hospital bed, Jenny makes funeral arrangements with her father, then asks for Oliver. She tells him to not blame himself, then asks him to embrace her tightly before she dies. They lie in her bed together.

As a grief-stricken Oliver leaves the hospital, his father is waiting to apologize. Oliver replies with what Jenny once told him: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Although popular with audiences and most reviewers, such as Roger Ebert,[3] the film was disliked by many others. Newsweek felt the film was contrived[3] and film critic Judith Crist called Love Story "Camille with bullshit."[4] Writer Harlan Ellison was on record in The Other Glass Teat, his book of collected criticism, as calling it "shit". President Richard Nixon however, reportedly enjoyed the film, regretting only that it contained so much cursing.[citation needed]

The film is scored number nine on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions list, which recognizes the top 100 love stories in American cinema. The film also spawned a trove of imitations, parodies, and homages in countless films, having re-energized melodrama on the silver screen as well as helping to set the template for the modern "chick flick".

The film became the highest grossing film of 1970 in U.S and Canada, grossing $106,397,186. It grossed an additional $30 million in international film markets. At the time of release, it was the 6th highest grossing film of all time in U.S and Canada gross only. Adjusted for inflation, the film remains as one of the top 40 domestic grosses of all time.[5]

The Crimson Key Society, a student association, has sponsored showings of Love Story during orientation to each incoming class of Harvard College freshmen since the late 1970s. During the showings, society members and other audience members mock, boo, and jeer "maudlin, old-fashioned and just plain schlocky" moments to humorously build school spirit.[6]

Overall, Love Story has received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively collected reviews from 23 critics and gave the film a score of 57%

Release Date: December 16, 1970 by Paramount

Boxoffice: $106,397,186 2014: $557,185,200

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