Often cited as one of the films that started the “Paramount Renaissance” in the 1970s, Love Story was nothing short of a phenomenon when it was released. Erich Segal, who wrote the screenplay, was asked by Paramount to write a novelization of the film in to create pre-publicity; it became a best seller. I have a sort of love/hate relationship with this film. Mostly this is because I think it is really poorly written. I hate the characters. I don’t think they are really developed at all. But, I love the art direction and the cinematography and most of the performances. As I was watching it, I felt like it was this perfectly crafted film wasted on a mediocre screenplay and that just feels like a shame to me. Love Story was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning one: Best Original Score (won), Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor John Marley, Best Actor Ryan O’Neal, Best Actress in a Leading Role Ali MacGraw, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were: Airport, Five Easy Pieces, MASH and winner Patton.
Oliver Barrett IV: Hey, what makes you so sure I went to prep school?
Jennifer Cavalieri: You look stupid and rich.
Oliver Barrett IV: Actually, I’m smart and poor.
Jennifer Cavalieri: *I’m* smart and poor.
Oliver Barrett IV: What makes you so smart?
Jennifer Cavalieri: I wouldn’t go out for coffee with you.
Oliver Barrett IV: Yeah, well I wouldn’t ask you.
Jennifer Cavalieri: Well that’s what makes you stupid.