love story by eric segal

Posted on March 13, 2009


Is Love Story timeless?

It seems so; a book club mate pointed out to me how many times the book was reprinted since 1970. How many times the movie was replayed on TV or reissued in different video formats is anybody’s guess.
Boy meets girl… rich boy, poor girl… they marry, they’re happy, they’re sad…

“What can you say about a twenty-five year old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. The Beatles. And me.”

That’s really all about Love Story, a sweet and touching love story. the premise is simple, the writing light, the dialogue deft. it was such an easy read that i was able to finish it in a little over half an hour, when I snuck out of my book club’s film viewing for some speed reading.

Maybe that’s the brilliance of it–Segal kept it simple yet elegant. It was Love Story he wanted to present, and he kept to it, infusing just enough complications to keep the plot going.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” I guess we need to be sappy every now and then.

Though i don’t care to read purely love stories these days, I was able to appreciate Love Story the book and movie because it wasn’t as mushy as I thought. The drama was really understated.

The back story of the phenomenon is also interesting. Eric Segal, a Harvard professor, wrote the book as a mockery to the Romance Bestsellers at that time. His mockery backfired, because his work ended up the Romance Bestseller.

Love Story is also one of those few cases in which screenplay came before the novel–and in which the movie may hold the more accurate vision of the writer than the book. If you criticize the movie ending, slightly different from that in the book as lacking closure, a rejection of a beloved’s death wish (read/see Love Story to figure out what I’m taking about), then you just might have to examine the story’s most famous line again…

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” There’s your answer.

Posted in: mushy weird