Parents' Guide to

Love Story

By Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Mega-hit of the 1970s isn't as powerful today.

Movie PG 1970 100 minutes
Love Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

This movie does have a sexual scene in it, where the two sleep together (not married) and it is quite a long scene. Checked the review and let my kids watch it, then got quite surprised by the scene. Just a warning for parents who are concerned about that kind of stuff.
age 13+

A bit of an empty love story...

This film depends on the audience filling in the blanks with their experiences because the characters offer only a generic framework. It feels like romance by numbers. O'Neal is wounded throughout the film and we're supposed to feel for him because he doesn't get along with his father? It doesn't stick...it comes off contrived and vacuous. The iconic lines are memorable because society has willed it so.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Although this corny reworking of Romeo and Juliet is almost saved by Ryan O'Neal's quietly smoldering charm, young viewers may be quick to hit the eject button. Jennifer's constant putdowns and continual sarcasm are so irritating that they undermine the plausibility of Oliver's love for her. Jennifer's illness and death is designed to evoke strong emotions, but viewers who can't get past her abrasive personality may have trouble summoning sympathy. However, sensitive teens may share in Oliver's intense feelings of loss and sadness.

Released in 1970, LOVE STORY was adapted from Erich Segal's best-selling novel and was equally popular onscreen. But the highly romanticized handling of Jennifer's death makes it unlikely to appeal to viewers today. Instead, audiences may cringe when they hear the famous line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." These words were ubiquitous when this tearjerker was released, but their message hasn't aged particularly well.

Movie Details

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