(Libby Purves’s review ran in the Times of London, 6/8.)
In the foyer they are selling Love Story themed tissues. Smart move. The late Erich Segal, who hit the jackpot with his first novel and the iconic 1970 film, jerked a mean tear. He was my husband’s mentor for a TV programme about romantic fiction. “If you get stuck,” sighed the wry, scholarly Segal, “You can always kill a puppy.”
But however lethally misleading the famous line about love meaning never having to say you’re sorry, the story has legs. Mawkishness is counteracted by the timeless theme of defiant youth and the astringent stroppiness of the working-class heroine Jenny Cavilleri, taking on her preppy boy-man and slapping him about verbally until he grows up. Even if the final, involuntary lesson she gives him is in accepting her death.
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