Starring: Ali MacGraw, Ryan O’Neal, Ray Milland
Director: Arthur Hiller
Running Time: 100 mins
Love Story is an American film about two Harvard students from completely different backgrounds who fall in love and marry young, only for their relationship to hit a devastating wall.
This isn’t the greatest love story ever told, but it does the job well, and manages to provide a successfully emotional story despite its overload of cheesy dialogue. Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal are excellent in the lead roles, and their characters are written fantastically, so if it weren’t for the fact that this film isn’t always the most engaging watch, I would have had a really good time with Love Story.
But even with that, I was surprised by how much I liked this film. For one, the story does move along and progress very well. It’s by no means a fast-paced film, and that was arguably a cause for me losing interest on occasion, but the development of the main characters’ relationship feels very natural and real as the film goes on, with time passing effortlessly as they grow closer over the years.
The main characters are also written extremely well. The film plays brilliantly on the whole ‘love wins over anything’ theme, seeing as the diverse backgrounds of these two people causes some tension between their families, whilst the characters themselves work very well together, having just enough similarities and differences to make this feel much more like a real-world relationship than a simple movie one.
The best part of the movie is the final act, when the emotional power kicks in. Up to that point, it’s nice to see the two develop their relationship, but it’s not until the final twenty or so minutes that this story becomes really good, and, whilst not quite bringing me to tears, did make me feel sad enough to recognise what they were going for.
Meanwhile, Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal are great in the lead roles. As I said, their characters work so well together, but the two actors do just as good a job, and have wonderful on-screen chemistry throughout the film, to the extent that it’s very easy to believe this story.
That’s even more impressive when you consider the cheesy dialogue they were provided with. At times, this film does over-dramatise the story and the romance. Although I bought into the relationship for the most part, there were times when I lost interest because of some awkward dialogue and frustratingly slow-paced sequences that just didn’t feel like they were adding to the progression of the film.
Overall, however, I was impressed with Love Story. I didn’t love it, but I was both entertained and emotionally engaged, and with great characters and performances, it provided as good a love story as the title promises, so that’s why I’ll give it a 7.4.