Watched this film again. I originally reviewed the film here, back in December 2013.
I agree with everything I said in the original blog post and I am writing this having spoken to people who were original viewers of the film when it first came out (my mother would be one such person) and it is more the tragedy of young love being broken apart by death more than anything else.
Even on my first viewing of the film I never ended up in a jiggly puddle of emotions on the floor. Of course both main actors did well enough in their roles as the two main protagonists. I didn’t really like Ali McGraw as Jennifer. OK, so write a ‘independent woman’ into the story who is all about ‘women’s lib’ and who has a career. Maybe at the time of the film’s release there may have even been women who identified with Jennifer. Especially as in the 1960s/1970s women’s lib and everything like that was a major issue.
Just don’t give the main female protagonist a potty mouth. It probably marked Jennifer out as different from the usual shrinking violet female in film, but it was just a bit boring and contrived. The famous quote
“Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry,”
is a bit contrived and probably really bad advice in reality. But it gave the story a few extra minutes in which time McGraw and O’Neal could act out the diatribe to the very end. Some have argued that Oliver married Jenny as an act of rebellion. If anything it just shows that teenagers / young people rebelling against the older generations is certainly nothing new, especially in cinematic and filmic terms.
It’s a good film in context of the era, and I will probably revisit this film intermittently.
MY RATING: *** / *****