Oliver: "Jenny, I'm sorry."
Jenny :"Love means never having to say you're sorry."
Jenny Cavalleri may have died young but the damage she has wrought on her generation as well as the ones that came after her is more stunning than the young Ali McGraw. Who would've expected a working class baker's daughter from Cranston, Rhode Island who went to Radcliffe to study music, never achieving her dream of studying in Paris, could accomplish so much? The fact that she was a Catholic only makes her so much more of a tragic figure.
Let's face it folks, if you watched, or worse, read Love Story when you were 17, 18 19-ish you thought Jenny Cavalleri hit the jackpot when she caught Oliver Barrett IV's attention. (Love Story was a failed screenplay converted into a novel after the film became such a hit - it didn't begin as a novel) If you actually matured emotionally after you read or watched Love Story, you came to understand catching Oliver's attention wasn't too hard since he was so lost. His attention had to land somehwere. On Jenny it did. The best part is why it did. He had some professor at Harvard who made him feel guilty as to how his family accumulated their fortune; on the backs of poor Italian immigrants working in his family's sweatshops in New Bedford, MA. Where did Jenny Cavalleri's long-ago deceased mother come from? Why New Bedford MA . To make it even more of a perfect screenplay, of course, Jenny's mother's family had worked in Oliver's family's factories. Now these two who would never meet each other in the real world, thanks to scholarships, find themselves making snow angels in Harvard Yard. Ain't liberalism grand?
So how does Oliver Barrett IV make good on the damage his family has wrought on the poor Italian working class of New Bedford, MA? Upon graduation and against the wishes of his parents, he marries Jenny, a descendent of one of his family's employees. So keen and proud of her background he is that they mary in a civil ceremony. Civil ceremony with do-it-yourself vows. So in making good in his family's bad past, he potentially casts the woman he loves into outer darkness with the Catholic Church by having her enter into an invalid marriage. Way to go Preppie! as Jenny used to call Oliver. Then to make it all so much more perfect, Jenny, once full of artistic promise, supports Oliver through law school since his parents cut him off. Then when he's fianlly on the fast track to big lawyer gig in NYC, Jenny goes and dies of cancer. What consumes Oliver at her hospital deathbed? That Jenny never reconciled herself with her Church because of him? No. That Jenny never made it to Paris because of him. Not much of a love story, eh?
Jenny Cavalleri was a very pretty, talented, and smart-mouthed idiot.
As for Oliver, Al Gore has claimed he and his wife were the models for Jenny and Oliver. The author of the screen play-turned-novel Love Story was forced to correct Al Gore's assertion - Al Gore was the inspiration for one side of Oliver, the "his controlling father and feeling that his family was pressuring him to follow in Dad's footsteps" side. Al Gore's Harvard roommate, Tommy Le Jones was the inspiration for "the half of the character that was a sensitive stud, a macho athlete with the heart of a poet." Jones ended up as an macho yet sensitive spouting poetic lines on the big screen for Hollywood. Algore ended up caving to his father's desires and following him into the family business where he failed (couldn't even carry his home state), being described to the police as a "crazed sex poodle" by a hotel massage therapist he had asked in an incredibly boorsih manner to perform "chakra release" and now divorced from his Jenny Cavalleri. So how did following that love meaning you never have to say you're sorry ethos work for you, Algore?
But that's Algore. We expect him to still listen to Jenny Cavalleri. We don't expect Peggy Noonan to still be listening to Jenny Cavalleri. If you do the math Jenny was 5 years Peggy's senior. No doubt Peggy saw (multiple times) Love Story in the theater during her junior year in college and then read the book (mulitple times) in the years following. In other words, Jenny was an inspiration for college women of her day. A few years later it would be Annie Hall. And yes, I still know women who say Van Goch and never learned to enjoy sex because of Annie but I digress.
Peggy Noonan is a famous Catholic convert. Peggy Noonan should know that before she begins to pick on any Republican running for 2012 she's got some sincere reconciliation to do. Contray to what Jenny Cavalleri would say, Peggy has a few things to say sorry for. For a starter, before her Irish eyes stopped smiling on Obama, he was her guy. Since they stopped smiling, she's called Obama all sorts of things; like loser. But calling Obama what he merely always was isn't aplogizing for getting him so wrong. It just isn't. Nor has Peggy apologized for she wrote about Sarah Palin during the '08 campaign. Peggy didn't like the way Sarah spoke. Or what she said. Whatever you think about Sarah Palin, Peggy's words were to quote Peggy in her hot mic moment, "bullshit". Sarah Palin was running for Vice President. Not President. The truth is as Vice President, not only would Sarah Palin have not harmed the economy of the country as deeply as Obama has, she never would've gone to China and said this:
“As I was talking to some of your leaders,” Biden said in China, “you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable. So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that’s much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that.”
On the 23rd of August 2011, the Catholic Vice President Joe Biden representing our country told the Chinese we can learn from them as to how to care for our elderly. He completely ignored the very real and widespread human suffering associated with China's one-child policy. Rather Biden focused on costs associated with the one-child policy. Biden wasn't off teleprompter. This was in his prepared remarks. Did the Catholic convert Peggy Noonan have any problem with what the cradle Catholic Vice President Biden that she helped put into office said?
She had a problem with what Rick Perry said. From her August 26th column, "Perry's Popping Off Problem"
Mr. Perry's now-famous gaffes, for which he's been roundly criticized, are said to suggest an infelicity of language. But they look more like poor judgement.
Perry has a "popping off" problem and shows poor judgement? Brilliant. The pot calls the kettle black during our first historic black presidency to boot. Kicking against the goads is painful for Peggy but it's even more painful for us to watch. Peggy needs to print she is sorry or she's bound to repeat her mistakes all over again, losing even more of her readership. Sorry for being out of sync with her chosen Church, the base of the Republican party as well as a good portion of the country, insulting Sarah Palin and now Rick Perry. She needs to stop listening to Jenny Cavalleri and start listening to Howard Bannister, PHD. Howard Bannister from What's Up doc? Historical interest is that Howard was played by the actor who earlier played Oliver Barrett, Ryan O'Neal. Seems like he learned something that Peggy should've:
Judy: Love means never having to say you're sorry.
Howard : That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.
Between us girls Peggy, Judy Maxwell was a whole lot more fun than Jenny Cavalleri. Plus she didn't pop off at the end. Even you have to admire that.