AWTR takes place c. 1996; “Love Story” takes place c.1970
AWTR is a story about faith; “Love Story” is about love and the absence of religion.
“Love Story” has pre-marital sex, AWTR does not
AWTR was based upon a book; “Love Story” was released as a book and movie (by the same author) simultaneously.
The characters are several years older in “Love Story”
The two stories are very similar. The only real difference other than age (Jenny was 25, Jamie was 18) was the issue of faith. Jamie had faith in God: “It’s like the wind, I can’t seeit, but I can feel it.” Jenny had faith in other people: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Oh, and there is pre-maratal sex in Love Story. There wasn’t in AWTR.
Other than that the stories are very similar. Both stories had a young couple who fell in love and got married. Both stories had the female character die. Both stories had the male character astranged from his father who eventually came through.
It’s interesting that you bring this up. An early draft of the script for AWTR read a lot like Love Story;
Love Story: “What can I say about a 25 year old girl who died? That she loved Mozart, and Bach, and Beatles . . . and me.”
AWTR Early Script: “You’d think that all the people here [Beaufort] were friendly, welcoming, open-minded . . . and that money or family background or education or luck didn’t matter. But they did matter. They mattered to everyone except Jamie Sullivan . . . Astronomer. Actress. Believer in God. . . Believer in Me.”