Love means never having to say you're sorry
|"Love means never having to say you're sorry"|
|First used in||Love Story|
|Voted #13 in AFI's 100 Movie Quotes poll|
"Love means never having to say you're sorry" is a catchphrase based on a line from the novel and 1970 film Love Story starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal. The line is spoken twice in the film: once in the middle of the film, by Jennifer Cavilleri (MacGraw's character), when Oliver Barrett (O'Neal) is about to apologize to her for his anger; and as the last line of the film, by Oliver, when his father says "I'm sorry" after learning of Jennifer's death. In the script the line is phrased slightly differently: "Love means not ever having to say you're sorry".
The line proved memorable, and has been referenced ever since. In 2005 it was voted #13 in the American Film Institute's list AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes. The band Sounds of Sunshine had a Top 40 hit in the United States with a song titled "Love Means You Never Have to Say You're Sorry" in 1971. "Love means never having to say you're..." is the opening sentence in the popular song "Can't Help But Love You" by The Whispers, from their album named after the movie, issued in 1972.
The line has also been criticized or mocked, for suggesting that apologies are unnecessary in a loving relationship. Most prominently, a character played by O'Neal himself disparages it in the 1972 screwball comedy What's Up, Doc?: Barbra Streisand's character coos that "Love means never having to say you're sorry" while batting her eyelashes, and O'Neal's character responds, deadpan, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard." John Lennon offered a contrary version: "Love means having to say you're sorry every five minutes." Years later in a 2004 episode of The Simpsons ("Catch 'Em If You Can"), the Simpson family watches the film, and Lisa retorts, "No it doesn't!" The line has also been parodied countless times, usually substituting another word or phrase for "love" and/or "you're sorry," especially the latter.
- "Ali MacGraw's Definition of Love (Love Story Reunion Show)". The Oprah Winfrey Show. October 11, 2010.