When wealthy Harvard University law student Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O'Neal) meets Jenny Cavilleri (Ali MacGraw), a middle-class girl who is studying music at Radcliffe College, it's love at first sight. Despite the protests of Oliver's father (Ray Milland), the young couple marry. Oliver finds a job at a legal firm in New York City, but their happy life comes crashing down when it's discovered that Jenny has a terminal illness. Together, they try to cope with the situation as best they can.
- Ali MacGraw as Jennifer "Jenny" Cavilleri
- Ryan O'Neal as Oliver Barrett IV
- John Marley as Phil Cavilleri
- Ray Milland as Oliver Barrett III
- Russell Nype as Dean Thompson
- Katharine Balfour as Mrs. Barrett
- Sydney Walker as Dr. Shapely
- Robert Modica as Dr. Addison
- Walker Daniels as Ray Stratton
- Tommy Lee Jones as Hank Simpson
- John Merensky as Steve
- Andrew Duncan as Reverend Blaufelt
Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars and called it "infinitely better than the book," adding, "because Hiller makes the lovers into individuals, of course we're moved by the film's conclusion. Why not?" Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times was also positive, writing that although "the plot-line has been honored many times ... It's the telling that matters: the surfaces and the textures and the charm of the actors. And it is hard to see how these quantities could have been significantly improved upon in 'Love Story.'"
Overall, Love Story has received mixed reviews. Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively collected reviews from 24 critics and gave the film a score of 63%.