Harvard student and hockey player Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O’Neal) visits the Radcliffe library and meets music major Jenny Cavilleri (Ali McGraw) who works in the library to help pay her tuition. Despite the fact that he is from a distinguished Boston family and she is the daughter of a poor Italian baker, they are attracted to each other.

After several months together, Jenny tells Oliver that she has received a scholarship to study music in Paris; instead of pursuing her studies, however, she accepts Oliver's proposal of marriage. Although they receive her father's (John Marley) blessings, Oliver's father (Ray Milland) threatens to cut him off from the family wealth. Nevertheless, the young couple marries in a simple ceremony.

After graduation, Oliver applies for a grant to law school, but the dean refuses to accept Oliver's separation from his father as evidence of his need for the money. To meet the costs of school and rent, they move into a poor section of Boston, and Jenny goes to work as a schoolteacher. When Oliver finally completes law school, they move to New York City, where he enters a prestigious law firm, and they happily begin to plan a family. After failing to get pregnant, they consult a medical specialist, who after repeated tests, informs Oliver that Jenny is ill and will soon die. As instructed by his doctor, Oliver attempts to live a "normal life" without telling Jenny of her condition. Jenny nevertheless discovers her ailment after confronting her doctor about her recent illness.

With their days together numbered, Jenny begins costly cancer therapy, and Oliver soon becomes unable to afford the multiplying hospital expenses. Desperate, he seeks financial relief from his father. When the senior Barrett asks if he needs the money because he got some girl "in trouble", Oliver says yes instead of telling his father the truth about Jenny's condition. Soon, Jenny is in the hospital. From her hospital bed, Jenny speaks with her father about funeral arrangements, and then asks for Oliver. She tells him to avoid blaming himself, and asks him to embrace her tightly before she dies. They lie together on the hospital bed and Jenny dies in Oliver's arms.

When Mr. Barrett realizes that Jenny is ill and that his son borrowed the money for her, he immediately sets out for New York. By the time he reaches the hospital, Jenny is dead. As Oliver leaves the hospital, his father arrives to console him, but Oliver rejects the reconciliation. Mr. Barrett apologizes to his son, who replies with something Jenny once told him: "Love means never having to say you're sorry”.

With that, Oliver leaves him standing on the sidewalk as he walks away to Central Park.

7 Nominations
1 Award
Best Music, Original Score

Golden Globes
7 Nominations
5 Awards
Best Picture
Best Director
Best Actress
Best Screenplay
Best Original Score
"Love Story", directed by Arthur Hiller, came out at the right time, the end of the liberating 60s, the beginning of the 70s, the idea of a college student falling for a pretty girl and getting married against wealthy dad's wishes, then making it just fine on his own was the kind of thing we all could cheer for. Many of us probably secretly wished we could have been in his shoes.

The chemistry between Jenny and Oliver was great. In a recent interview by “The Hollywood Reporter”, they reunited Ryan and Ali after 44 years of the movie’s premiere and the chemistry was still there.

          MACGRAW No. We had no chemistry. We just slogged through it as best
          we could. (Laughs.)

          O'NEAL I never wanted it to end. I never wanted her to die!

          MACGRAW Making it was actually unbelievably fun the whole time; I was
          stupid and new enough in the business to think it was always like that.
          Ryan had worked a lot; I hadn't. Everyone on the crew cried periodically
          during filming. But even though we were setting up this heart-wrenching
          story, we laughed for three months, as well.

          O'NEAL It's the best time I ever had on a movie. I love her and have
          always loved her.

          MACGRAW That's very sweet.

          O'NEAL She just didn't love me!

          MACGRAW There's a line around the block of [O'Neal's] broken hearts.

Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw
The Hollywood Reporter
And of course, one can’t mention the film without mentioning the famous line,“love means never having to say you’re sorry”. The line proved memorable, and has been referenced ever since. In 2005 it was voted #13 in the American Film Institute's list AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes. The line has also been criticized or mocked, for suggesting that apologies are unnecessary in a loving relationship.

Most prominently, a character played by O'Neal himself disparages it in the 1972 screwball comedy "What's Up, Doc?": Barbra Streisand's character coos that "Love means never having to say you're sorry" while batting her eyelashes, and O'Neal's character responds, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard."

In fact, both O’Neal and McGraw also feel the same way;

          MACGRAW It's a crock!

          O'NEAL You'd better say you're sorry!

The song (Where Do I Begin?) Love Story, (music by Francis Lai and lyrics by Carl Sigman) was first introduced as an instrumental theme. The lyrics were added after the theme music became popular. Andy Williams recorded it originally and made the biggest hit version reaching #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the easy listening chart for four weeks in addition to #4 on the UK Singles Chart.

Hundreds of people flocked to cinemas to see this movie. It can be said that "Love Story" was a cult movie for the 1970s in most parts of the world. There were (and still are) so many mixed emotions on the film. Some say, you either love it- or you hate it.

All in all, it is a love story and nothing more.
(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story
Andy Williams