Love Story is romantic and funny, yet tragic. It is the tale of two college students whose love enables them to overcome the adversities they encounter in life: Oliver Barrett IV, a Harvard jock and heir to the Barrett fortune and legacy, and Jennifer Cavilleri, the quick-witted daughter of a Rhode Island baker. Oliver (Ollie) was expected to assume control of his father’s business empire, while Jennifer (Jenny) was a music major studying at Radcliffe College and planning to study in Paris. From very different worlds, Oliver and Jenny are immediately attracted to each other and their love deepens. The story of Jenny and Ollie is a story of two young people who come from two separate worlds and are brought together in the unlikeliest of ways.
Upon graduation from college, the two decide to marry, against the wishes of Oliver’s father, who promptly severs all ties with his son. Without financial support, the couple struggles to pay Oliver’s way through Harvard’s Law School, with Jenny working as a private school teacher. Graduating third in his class, Oliver gets several job offers and takes up a position at a respectable New York law firm. The couple move to New York City, excited to spend more time together, rather than working and studying. The pair decide to have a child. After Jenny fails to conceive, they consult a medical specialist, who after repeated tests, informs Oliver that Jenny is suffering from leukemia, making it clear that “she’s dying”.
As instructed by his doctor, Oliver attempts to live a normal life without telling Jenny of her condition. Jenny nevertheless discovers her ailment after confronting her doctor about it. With their days together numbered, Oliver is desperate and seeks financial relief from his father. Instead of telling his father what the money is truly for, Oliver misleads him. From her hospital bed, Jenny speaks with her father about funeral arrangements, and then asks for Oliver. She tells him to avoid blaming himself, and asks him to hold her tightly before she dies. When Mr. Barrett realizes that Jenny is ill and that his son borrowed the money for her, he immediately sets out for New York. By the time he reaches the hospital, Jenny has died. Mr. Barrett apologizes to his son, who replies with something Jenny had once told him: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” and breaks down in his arms.