"What can you say about a 25 year old girl that died? That she was beautiful, and brilliant."
Known for its infamous tag-line “Love means never having to say your sorry”, Love Story follows Harvard law student Oliver Barrett IV and music student Jennifer Cavalleri, as their brutally honest friendship develops into the love story of their lives. Despite their different backgrounds, the young couple put their hearts on the line for each other through hardships and tragedy, believing love can fix anything.
Quick-witted and independent, the heroine of this Love Story, Jennifer Cavalleri, is a working-class girl of Italian decent, who attends Radcliffe College. Along with her teasing nature and preppy sense of style, Ali MacGraw’s character in Love Story can be considered a great feminist icon of both literature and cinema.
In particular, Jennifer Cavalleri’s shrewd sense of humour establishes her as a feminist role model within the opening of the film. This is when she first meets her wealthy future husband Olivier. For instance, as well as addressing him a “stupid and rich”, she manages to assert herself by declaring that she is in fact “smart and poor” and that the only reason she wouldn’t go out with him is because he is too foolish to have the sense to ask her out in the first place. Therefore, her flirty and bold nature suggests she is confident and strong-willed.
As well as this, Jennifer shows fierce integrity when has to go and meet Olivier’s parents at their impressive and intimating stately home. Despite her initial fears that his parents will dislike her due to the fact that she is a ‘social zero’, Jenny appears to be un-phased by their interrogation when she boldly declares that her father is a down to earth owner of a bakery.
Another way in which the character of Jennifer Cavalleri can be seen as a great feminist role model is true her hard work and perseverance. For instance, this is demonstrated, not only through her academic success, but also the way in which the young couple have to face hardships, struggling to make ends meat when Olivier is cut off from his family as a result of their marriage. However, by far the most impressive quality of Jenny is her selfless nature. In particular, after she is diagnosed with a life threatening disease, she tells Olivier that she hopes he will be able to remarry after she is dead. Although, this is a completely heartbreaking moment in the movie, it shows the intensity of the love she feels for him. Moreover, this is due to the fact that she is more concerned with the welfare of both her husband and father as a result of her death, than her actual death itself.