"What can you say about a 25 year old girl that died?"
This question is something that no person ever wants to think about in their life, but in the 1970 romantic classic "Love Story," it becomes a reality. Based off of the novel of the same name by Erich Segal(whom also wrote the screenplay), and directed by Arthur Hiller, audiences get a rare film that has a depiction of passion that is stronger than the mind can imagine. While critics have been polarized by this movie since its initial release, I honestly see it as a treasure. It even takes the cake as my third favorite film of all time.
The first thing that really gets me with this film is the cinematography. There is such a beauty in each shot, and they are clear as a diamond. Along with this, the overall direction is just amazing. Hiller had a way of making the audience feel like they were experiencing the events of the film in their own life. This is very rare in the cinematic universe, and I give massive props to Hiller.
The plot of the film is very simple.... A man and woman meet, they fall in love, and they get married. They start off living a hard life in poverty together, but success comes and they're comfortable. Sadly, a traumatic unveiling comes about, and it is going to ruin the destined couple that we have grown to adore. While this sounds like a cliche filled mess, it really isn't because the film is done with such a grace that you see the plot as a journey through life, instead of a basic romance. Along with this, one also becomes involved in other subplots to change things up. The relationship between the lead male Oliver and his father is one that will leave you hurt, because it is close to home for so many people in this world.
Another amazing thing about this film is the stellar performances by the cast. Ryan O' Neal gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Oliver Barrett IV, because he becomes the character. You can really sense the passion that he has for his lover, and you can sense the frustration he has with his father, because he displays his emotions in a rare authenticity. Ali McGraw doesn't reach the same heights as O' Neal in my opinion, but she is pretty darn close. She gives her character a wit that has you laughing alot of the time, and by the end, she gives an authentic beauty that puts you in so much pain as things start to get worse. In my opinion, these two actors are one of the finest couples to grace the movie screen.
The dialogue of the movie was good alot of the time, with a couple of slip ups here and there. Alot of the lines were very funny or touching, and they felt like things people would actually say. The one exception to this is the infamous line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." While the intentions of showing unconditional love were good, this line is so cheesy, and it honestly doesn't have alot of relevance to it. This is but a small flaw to a great movie, and I can look past it in a heartbeat.
Last but not least is the Oscar-winning music score. While I find the songs to be very beautiful and fitting for the film, I almost see it as a slap in the face that this is what the movie won an Oscar for. Of the seven nominations the film got, I think the music was the least special. So while I won't call this bad at all, I just think that it got more credit than deserved.
Overall, this is not a movie to miss. It is sad, touching, and endlessly beautiful. If you want to see one of the gems of the 1970's, then look no further than "Love Story," because you will not be disappointed.