amy merrick by 63

living in: love story


Love Story is my favorite movie. My #1 (without a doubt) and my go-to answer when asked. I’ve nervously saved it for this column until I could summon the courage to take on my Holy Grail of movies. Don’t get me wrong, Citizen Kane it’s not. It can be silly and melodramatic, but also deliciously witty and an absolute slice of preppy perfection. Sigh, 1970 Harvard — you sure looked good.

1. Vintage Harvard Pennant, $20; 2. Dsquared Wool Plaid Scarf, $165; 3. J. W. Hume Legacy Bag, $410; 4. Revolver by The Beatles, $10; 5. Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen, $2.60; 6. Carven Double-Breasted Coat, $930; 7. Stanley Classic Thermos, $72; 8. The Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels


At the tender age of 16, Love Story burned into my brain that wool plaid is very important, as are witty retorts. It also taught me that girls should be smart, sassy and emotionally unavailable while boys should be handsome, preppy and attracted exclusively to girls with brown hair and big eyebrows (wishful thinking much?). I’m not sure how this Love Story education has served me over the years, but I remain truly and loyally dedicated to to it as my movie, my favorite, forever and ever. — Amy M.

1. Gold Cross Necklace, $376; 2. PB&J Sandwich with Skippy, $3; 3. Vintage Tortoise Eyeglasses, $185; 4. Michael Kors Chronograph Watch, $328; 5. Legal Pad, $0.79; 6. Vintage 1930s Leather Sofa; 7. Pom Pom Knitted Beanie, $28; 8. Enzo Lamp, $459; 9. Dents Felicity Leather Gloves, $84; 10. Avoca Lambswool Throw, $158

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63 Comments

Sing

This is so funny. I just rented this on Netflix and absolutely adored it. Thanks for this feature.

Sarah H

I love this movie too. I watched it for the first time at about 16 and cried and cried. I still cry now, and sometimes wish that I were more sassy.

Amanda

Wow… I’ve never heard of this movie, but given this FANTASTIC roudup, I think this will be my favorite movie as well! Thank you, Thank you!

Ashley

Thank you, Amy for this post! I’m running out right now and purchasing a camel coat and skirt just to be like Jenny Cavilleri. But one thing’s missing: what about Oliver’s car!??!

libby

love. so perfect for the fall. i just got myself a couch like the one featured. can not wait until it’s all bleached out and buttery!

Ecochic

I LOVED this book. I recommend reading it. I never knew it was a movie though. Will definitely have to check that out.

Sally Milner

I had exactly the same reaction to Love Story when I first saw it; the sassy brown-haired girl, the fair-haired smitten guy that i knew was out there. Thanks for the nostalgia trip. I wore aran and tartan and if only hair straighteners had been invented, I’d have been Ali!!

jan

i had a camel wrap coat just like the one ali mcgraw wore in the film…. it came out when i was in high school, and those coats were the rage! wish is still had it. thanks for the nostalgia!

Kelly

This was the first movie I had my father rent for me on “Disc.” Remember before videos came out? They lasted 6 months. It broke my heart and I loved it all at once. I dreamt I would lay on the couch like that… oh, the dream.

Stella

I love…

fyi, you can get a Stanley thermos from Walmart for $20. Mine is red and uber-classy.

christine aldinger

was a wonderful sad tear jerker movie but i won’t ever watch it again….same with Gone With The Wind and many more u’d lol if i mentioned the Walt Disney movies!!! i cry so hard i bring on migranes so memories of the sad movies will have to do

Jenna Sais Quois

This is exactly how I dress once the end of September hits. And I never quite knew how to put a label on it…Ali McGraw in Love Story! Thanks for this awesome “Living In” post.

Josh

I think you’re someone with an eye for values, so you should know that the Stanley thermos is available for about a third of that price on Amazon.

Laura

Thank you for this! I had not heard of the movie either but Netflix has it on demand (yay!). I’m very excited about the book list link as well. Long live plaid and leather sofas.

Jen Dean

Amy – I have to be honest and say that I didn’t actually watch “Love Story” until my late teens/early 20s but I was a fan of Ivy League style far before. I also got the smart, sassy, brown hair, thick eyebrows memo, too. :) Great post!

PS – Owned that Thermos.

Misa

i met ali mcgraw at a bookstore in santa fe when i was 14. she was incredibly nice to me, even though i’m sure i was a total weirdo.

Newly Domesticated

In high school this was my go-to break-up movie, along with “Splendor in the Grass.” Anytime I went through a break-up, I’d rent “Love Story” and bawl my little heart out. LOVE her coat every time.

grace

lindsey

nothing wrong with a little wayne’s world. i dressed up as wayne (my friend was garth) back in elementary school. still can’t get enough of that movie.

and in a funny twist of fate, mike myers ended up playing hockey on my street hockey team a few years ago. it was so hard not to go “schwing!” when he scored a goal. although one time our goalie had a bad game and, without thinking about it, said “i don’t know, i’ve like, lost my mojo or something”. and mike quietly said “you know, i wrote that line” ;)

g

Debra

I was a teenager of the 70′s. Love Story is and will always be one of all time favorites and like the style of the times and the clothing it’s TIMELESS!

Rachel

This is great!! Perfect descrip of Love Story and perfect roundup of Love Story chic-ness! You’re so clever!

Jan

Fabulous themed post…but honestly, I never thought I’d see this look and era revived in such style – Bravo!

Heather

I saw Love Story when I was 18 or so. CRIED my eyes out and I haven’t seen it since because I am so afraid. lol!

I really do need to watch it again though. Love the style!

anne marie

I just realised that if they had a daughter, she would look (and act) exactly like Bones! (Even though for that the mom was Larisa Miller)

Vanessa

LOVE the coat, the gold cross, the watch, & of course PB & J!

My favorite movie post to date! Such a great idea–I want to do something similar on my blog one of these days. Take my favorite childhood memories, like a movie, and base fashion and design around it. So creative!

Anna

AMazing!! i have been waiting for a ‘Living in..’ Love Story for ages!! i knew you’d do it right -absoloutely perfect!

Laura

Absolutely best movie of all time!! I am so glad you got the courage to post this – yes you hit the nail on the head! thank you thank you thank you!

Now to go and watch my well worn VHS copy…..sigh.

margot

What do you mean, you’ve never heard of the movie!! I am aging myself. I never knew it was book-must read. I want the CAR!! And the camel coat is so in again, or maybe it never went out!! I agree…love means having to say your sorry over and over again. x0

Shari

Wow, I had a handbag very similar that I bought in the early 80′s and used in high school. My daughter now uses it on a daily basis and she’s in college.

Laura

Fantastic choice! This was my Mom’s favorite movie when I was a kid (she was 28 at the time it came out) and quickly became my favorite still after 40 years! It’s aged so well. Who wouldn’t still want to look so effortlessly cool as Ali — don’t forget the football in the snow outfit — rocking the watchman cap and big sweatshirt!

Christine

This is gorgeous. I adore that lamp… and the thermos… and the handbag… Thanks so much for sharing this, Amy!

rita

hello!
I just had to comment…
Love it so much! Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong year – 1981. Although I love the eighties there’s something in this movie that made me fall in love with the seventies. I’ve read the book when I was so young… and the music… gives me the chills…
…so, thank you… for the memory

Sarah

My absolute favorite movie! I watch Love Story and The Graduate when I am feeling uninspired! I just love the clothing, and I looooove their little apartment! Thanks for posting.

Mrslaurenleigh

Love this movie and the roundup!! Makes me wish we got a real fall out here in Southern CA. We have an ice cream truck that comes by once a week and it plays a ting-ey, ice cream truck rendition of this theme song. Cracks me up everytime! Nothing brings those kids running like theme songs from seventies movies…

Amit

I’m embarrassed that I haven’t seen this yet, the author of the book was a relative of mine. But I’ll definitely add it to my queue now.

Christina

I am recovering from surgery so, after I read your post, watched “Love Story” on my computer. So good…so sad!
You know, the part that bothers me the most is that Oliver just can’t let his father issues go…and I think his dad really wants to be in his life. It’s things like this that bother me for a long time after the credits have rolled.
Also, love Jenny’s outfit when she visits Ollie on the boat…very chic!

Trina Enriquez

Oh, I was hoping you’d tell where I can find a burgundy knit cloche (?) hat similar to the one Jenny wears when she and Oliver are playing football in the snow. Love that hat. Been on the lookout for years.

nanette

i also had a camelhair coat-(wraparound) like jenny’s in 1970. where could i buy an exacy copy? could’nt find a “wrap-around” on ANY of the web-sites. please advise. thanks.

Kara

Okay, I just watched this for the first time because I saw it here on Living In and WOW, I was not prepared for the sadness. I don’t know, I guess I forgot about it being referred to before as a sappy love story.

So needless to say, I was caught totally off guard and cried for about 45 minutes. But it was great!!

Art of RetroCollage

I loved the theme from “Love Story.” I had the sheet music
when it was popular and really enjoyed playing it on the piano.
Jenny calling her father “Phil” always cracked me up.

Emma

This is also my favorite movie!
Do you know the name of the actrice? She’s so beautiful!

Marcia Frank

I cry like a baby every time I view the movie.
But what leaves me frustrated is that no one really asks the stars what they were feeling when they were filming the movie….was it comfortable? Did they have a crush on each ?
Was it hard to play the lovers???

Pandora Gift Sets

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics

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