‘Love Story’ Review: What Can You Say

Posted in Screening Room by - February 06, 2016

I feel the need to be honest with you dear reader, I find the entire concept of the Academy Awards to be distasteful. Not because of the current popular reason that the group is racist, though they certainly skew heavily toward sixty year old white males, but because the award ceremony has a long history of choosing Best Picture based on internal politics and a generally ‘turn based’ system. I also find it obnoxious that the group’s idea of Best Picture often include a few repetitive themes and styles. It also seems vaguely self congratulatory, as a group of entertainment industry professionals have made themselves responsible for telling the world which entertainment industry professionals made the best entertainment. If you’d like a more specific critique of the ceremony, you can read my summary of last year’s showing here. Keeping all of this in mind, I am disheartened at the prospect of watching Best Picture award winners for the next month, but the show must go on.

Love Story is one of the nominated films for Best Picture in 1970. It stars Ali MacGraw as Jenny and Ryan O’Neal as Oliver. It’s also the film debut of talented actor Tommy Lee Jones, but he’s just Oliver’s roommate, so he unfortunately has little effect on the feature. The story follows Oliver, a wealthy Harvard law student, and Jenny, a low income music student, as they fall in love at school. However, when they wed, Oliver’s father disowns him for wanting to dip his swizzle stick in attractive ‘poor’ people, so they must rely on each other, hoping their love can conquer all. Unfortunately tragedy strikes, and as the film’s narrative perspective at the opeing suggests, Oliver must work his way through the aftermath.

The pacing of the film jumps from relationship mile marker to relationship mile marker, all the while the two main characters trade witty banter. In one scene they’ll be happy in their casual relationship, and in the next they’ll get in to a fight that ends with them taking their relationship to the next level. The characters are entirely straightforward, with little complexity. Oliver is a rich kid who dislikes his father. Jenny is a musician with a strong sense of independence. Oliver’s dad is an overbearing rich dad. Jenny’s father is a catholic. Those are the only real character traits. The plot is also simple. It opens with Oliver stating that Jenny is dead, and then progresses through the story from their first meeting onward, taking all the standard steps of a romance/life drama.

Unfortunately there’s not much else to say about the movie. Everything about it is standard. The shot composition, the characters, the emotions, the relationships, the colors, and even the music. Luckily it isn’t particularly bad, it’s just bland. Some people love it, and love means never having to say you’re sorry, even if you’re boring as all get out. Give it a watch if you’re significant other wants to watch a sad yet romantic movie. Otherwise you can feel free to ignore it.

Final Say: Skip It

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Born in Arizona, he currently resides in Denton, Texas. When he isn't watching movies he's playing board games and drinking whatever he can get his hands on. John watches Djimon Honsou movies because he likes Spawn, which had Michael Jai White.
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