Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Ali MacGraw!

Apr. 1, 2011
Dear Elizabeth Alice “Ali” MacGraw,
The first time I saw you in “Love Story,” I was just a kid and I thought you were gorgeous. I did my best to wear my hair like you, get a suntan like you and I even tried to dress like you. Today your “Love Story” wardrobe would be considered vintage—understatedly chic—leather handbags, long plaid skirts, clogs, peasant tops. I don’t have to describe it to you. You remember, even though that film came out in 1970…so many years ago…those styles are back! 
How can I forget?
“What can you say about
a twenty-five-year-old girl who died?
That she was beautiful and brilliant.
That she loved Mozart and Bach.
The Beatles. And me.” (written by Erich Segal)

My girlfriends and I would often get together for movie night at someone’s house. We’d rent a VCR and video cassettes. (No one born before 1975 could even relate to RENTING a VCR—essentially the size of a small suitcase!)

We would rent the videos “Brian Song” and “Love Story” and watch them back-to-back. What were we thinking? Get the tissues! We bawled until our mascara ran and our eyes were swollen. Two tear-jerker movies, both in one night!

Ryan O’Neal played Oliver Barrett IV, the handsome, preppy Harvard law student and you, the beautiful Jennifer Cavilleri, a music student from a working-class family. Despite your opposite backgrounds, you fell madly in love with each other. He defies name and family for you and you die in one of the most famously attractive deaths in Hollywood history. (ok, does this story sound familiar? Does is sound like Titanic? Kind of. Although Rose is the wealthy one and Jack is the poor one…it’s a story that’s been done many, many times.)

It was a hugely popular film, making you and Ryan O’Neal instant superstars. We could all appreciate your beauty and Ryan’s sheepskin jacket. At least I could!

Now, Ali, there is something I would like to tell you that I’ve learned through almost 28 years of marriage. (I didn’t know this when I first watched “Love Story” as a kid.)  The most famous line in the movie was: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”…um, what? Let me tell you, I don’t believe this is true. I believe that love means saying you’re sorry, but WITHOUT hesitation. It means you say you’re sorry when you’ve messed up. I have had plenty of experience saying I’m sorry, which means I’ve messed up many times! Nonetheless, you were beautiful saying it to Ryan O’Neal. And he was beautiful saying it to his dad at the end.

You were on Oprah last fall with Ryan O’Neal in a wonderful ‘reunion’ episode. You were gorgeous in 1970 and you are still! You see, Ali, there are some people in this world who are like that. They were born beautiful and they always will be. You are one of them.
Happy 72nd Birthday!
Regards, Mrs Love

1 comment:

  1. My favorite Ali McGraw film is the mini series Winds of War.