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(Review originally written at 22 November 2006)

To be honest I was quite surprised as the low rating the movie gets her, since I've always been under the assumption that this movie is widely regarded to be the best and ultimate romantic movie ever made.

The movie has all the ingredients a romantic movie needs, even the most formulaic ones. Two totally different boy and girl from different social levels fall in love with each other and of course not everyone in the environment (mainly the parents of course) are happy with this. Their love life has a couple of ups and downs in which they have to weight some choices for themselves against choices for their love together. Further more the movie also features an unavoidable dramatic twist in which one of the characters get seriously sick (Don't worry, this is not really a spoiler since this is mentioned right in the beginning of the movie already). In other words this movie has all of the formulaic sappy sounding ingredients to make this a sappy formulaic romantic movie. Yet "Love Story" is not. Why? It's hard to put your finger on why "Love Story" is so much more and so much better than your average love story but I guess that you can still answer this question, once you start analyzing the movie. Although the story and all of its elements are sappy and formulaic the movie itself doesn't try to be sappy or dramatic. The movie doesn't attempt to make you cry, by putting in over-the-top dramatic filmed moments with dramatic loud music and all that sort of stuff. Instead the movie chooses to take a realistic approach, no real surprise, considering that this is a '70's movie. The decade in which the most realistic (and best) movies were made. It has as a result that the movie never feels forced or overdone. It even makes the most formulaic and predictable elements of the movie work out, as strange and unbelievable as it might sound. You also have to keep in mind that at the time it was released, this movie was not formulaic at all. It was a fresh approach on the genre and inspired many later movies. In a way "Love Story" was bare raising and set the standards for many later romantic movies. The movie was nominated for 7 Oscar (of which it won 1 in the end) not just for no reason.

The movie is obviously made on a low budget but it makes the end result look all the more creative. It's effectively directed by Arthur Hiller, who later went on directing lame comedies. A real waste of talent. The musical score by Francis Lai is a classic and the simple effective cinematography from Richard C. Kratina makes the movie feel all the more realistic.

The movie made Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal big stars for the moment and they were both even nominated for an Oscar. To be frank I didn't even always liked their characters in the movie and I've never been to fond of Ryan O'Neal as an actor. In that regard I liked the supporting cast way better with John Marley, Ray Milland and Tommy Lee Jones in his very first (and very small) screen appearance. He looked so amazingly young, that he was hard to recognize.

Although the movie takes some formulaic and obvious dramatic turns, the movie still always remain perfectly watchable, just not always emotionally involving enough. So I'm not to sure about it if this is a movie that can (still) make people cry. Nevertheless the movie still has its powerful moments, mostly due to the realism of it all. Everybody should be able to recognize the situations- and put themselves in the place of the characters of the movie. Everybody have been through similar events in their life at one point, in one way or another.

Now days lots of people actually complain about the tag-line and famous quote from the movie; 'Love means never having to say you're sorry'. People find this a stupid and illogical line. To those people I would like to say; Wait until you've truly falling in love once. If you've REALLY been in love, you'll understand what is the meaning of that line. Love is about mutual respect and also accepting each others less pleasantries and still love each other for it. This also means never having to apologies to each other. Actually when I was in love once and the girl felt the same way about me (Yes amazing, I know. It seems like ages ago now), whenever one of us said 'sorry' for something the other always said; 'You never have to apologize for anything to me'. None of us had ever seen the movie or heard of its famous line before, so I think that really says something about the line and the truth that is in it.

It in my opinion certainly is one the best and perhaps most influential romantic movie ever made. A must-see that deserves more objective respect and higher rating on here.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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