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Review: LOVE STORY (1970)

by Meredith Grau
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Best Bad Quote:
“When our two souls stand up, erect and strong…” blah, blah, pretentious blurgh.
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“Were do I beginnnn to tell the story/ of how [bad a film] can beeee?” Sorry Mr. Manilow. I know this film is supposed to be a groundbreaking classic, but I’ve avoided it for several years for several reasons: schmalz, schmalz, and Ryan O’Neal. Then, I recently thought to myself, “Hey, prejudice is wrong!” No. No, it’s not. Trust your instincts. What feels wrong, doesn’t belong, and should not be included in society. EVER.
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This movie is one of those sentimental wheepies– originally a book– that studios bank on silly, emotional women going to see. Unfortunately, studios are often right. Girls… We’re so simple. The tearjerkers get us every time. Take a rich, jock character and give him a surprising heart of gold and an overbearing father, add a bookish, poor girl with glasses and an alleged brain, mix with death, and voila! There were a whole slew of “novels” like this hiding in my junior high reading class cupboard: ugly girls and pretty boys who them an identity by paying them attention. Of course, this film differs a little because of its independent, feminist-minded female lead who has her own ideas and her own plans. YEAH! Take that, “preppy!” Except, she decides to become a wife instead of following her dream to study music in Paris, because her mans asks her to.
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The story goes like this: Oliver (O’Neal), who wears his heart on his ice skates, falls for the sarcastic Jenny (Ali MacGraw), who openly admits thats she only wants him for his body. Ooh, a switch on a switch! Of course, the blank faced O’Neal melts her heart, during the process of which the audience watches many a mind numbing montage, featuring the most annoying couple on the planet. They’re atrocious. You will hate them. It’s a Disney Channel, Miley Cyrus level of immaturity.
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Anywhoodle, Oliver’s father (Ray Milland) is against his son settling down with Jenny, because “she poor.” Oliver brashly rebuffs his father by flaring his nostrils and marries Jenny anyway, which means he don’t get no inheritance. All this really means is that Oliver and Jenny have to live in an apartment for awhile– “blech!”– until Oliver gets through Law School, after which they are instantly rich themselves. This process takes what appears to be three weeks. Teaches the audience a lot about life. (No one in the current economy could possibly identify with this malarkey). Luckily, at the prime of life on top, Jenny gets “sick” with an unspecified illness, and the movie ends soon after.
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Love Boring… I mean, “Story.” Love STORY… isn’t that long, but it feels like it takes forever. Probs because through all of the alleged relationship ups and downs, nothing happens. The character arcs are character aren’ts. The couple only fights once that I can recall, which leads to the most ridiculously melodramatic scene ever filmed.”Love means never having to say you’re sorry…” It’s a blubbering line that will repeat itself later via Ryan “Constipated Face” O’Neal. In any case, I clearly don’t ‘love’ this movie, because I’m very, very sorry that I watched it.  Of course, it may do it for some people, if they’re into manipulative little cream puffs that boast of emotional depth but are hollow inside.
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I’m incredibly angry that this film is a part of my memory now. My brain muscle, attacked by atrocious banality, is starting to atrophy. They should have left Ray Milland in charge. Ray wouldn’t have let this happen.
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Rating:
1 out of 5 Runny Nosed Nightmares
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