I managed to make it through the 70s without seeing Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw in Love Story, though it was nominated for 7 Oscars and won 1. If the IMDB summary is any indication, we’ve all seen variations of the same movie “A boy and a girl from different backgrounds fall in love regardless of their upbringing – and then tragedy strikes.”
What makes the movie memorable, apart from the theme song, is the tag line that was everywhere when the movie was released, and survives on the DVD cover:
Love means never having to say you’re sorry.
I’m not sure whether the line is intended to be taken seriously or not. But it’s prominence seems to suggest it is a theme at the heart of the movie. And if the line causes you to shake your head in stunned puzzlement, you are not alone.
It’s that common reaction to the line that lies at the heart of one of my favorite movie scenes. This one is from a movie that came out two years later, What’s Up, Doc? starring the same Ryan O’Neal falling in love this time with Barbra Streisand. It is something of a screwball comedy made memorable to me by this thirty second clip:
I can only add, “Amen.”
[If you can’t for some reason get this clip to play, you can see it in a slightly longer context here.]