Oliver's Story (1978)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 15, 1978 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

Love Story may not have been a great film, but it knew how to make audiences care about what was ultimately just another sappy romance; the entirely unnecessary sequel, Oliver's Story, on the other hand, is a pointless film that will only alienate those who were devotees of the original. Clearly, Oliver was made not because the original story demanded a follow-up to make the sags complete but simply because somebody hoped to make another barrel of money. This mercenary spirit not only shows; it infuses the entire film. Oliver may start out as a lawyer with a concern for correcting social problems, but by the end of the film he has joined the ranks of lawyers who are more concerned with making a pile. The character's intense despair over his dead wife would be understandable and moving in real life, but it's presented here as a plot point and feel forced; the viewer gets tired and feels he's doing nothing but moping and whining. The supposed new love he hopes to find with Candice Bergen's character is shallow and not especially believable. Worse, it's all dreadfully boring. After the first ten minutes, one is ready to give up, but keeps watching in the hope that things will get better -- or at least livelier. They don't. Ryan O'Neal is only a shadow of his former Love Story self performance-wise; Bergen tries hard, but is ultimately not very effective.