Love Story is a 1970 romance motion picture drama directed by Arthur Hiller that tells the story of a young college couple in the 1960s who are trying to cope with the girl's impending death. It was the top grossing film for 1971.
The screenplay was written by Erich Segal; he adapted the screenplay into a novel which was published and became a best-seller prior to the release of the movie.
Love Story was followed by a 1978 sequel, Oliver's Story.
Erich Segal has said that he based the character of Oliver on Vice President Al Gore and Gore's Harvard roommate Tommy Lee Jones.
The novel tells the first person story of Oliver Barrett, IV, who comes from a long line of wealthy and well-respected Harvard graduates. Partly to break the traditional Ivy League mold, the Harvard jock meets and falls in love with Jennifer Cavilleri, a poor, quick-witted Italian American Radcliffe student. Upon graduation from college, the two decide to marry against the wishes of Oliver's father, who thereafter severs ties with his son.
Lacking his father's financial support, the couple struggles to pay Oliver's way through Harvard Law School. Graduating third in his class, Oliver takes a well-paying position at a respectable New York law firm, while Jennifer teaches at a private school.
With Oliver's income and Jennifer's salary as a teacher, the pair of 24-year-olds decide to have a child. After several failed attempts at conception, they seek consultation from a medical specialist, who, after repeated tests, informs Oliver that Jennifer has leukemia and will soon die.
As instructed by his doctor, Oliver attempts to live a "normal life" without telling Jennifer of her condition. Jennifer nevertheless discovers her ailment after confronting her doctor about her recent illness. With their days together numbered, Jennifer begins costly cancer therapy, and Oliver soon becomes unable to afford the piling hospital expenses. Desperate, he seeks financial relief from his father, who obliges amicably.
From her hospital bed, Jennifer speaks with her father about funeral arrangements, and then asks for Oliver. She tells him to avoid blaming himself, and asks that he embrace her tightly before she dies.
- "Love means never having to say you're sorry."