Lorelai suggests a number of sad movies they could rent so that Rory can wallow in her grief.
Love Story is a 1970 romantic drama directed by Arthur Hiller, and based on the best-selling 1970 novel of the same name by Erich Segal, who also wrote the screenplay. The story is about a wealthy Harvard student named Oliver (Ryan O’Neal) who falls in love with a working-class Radcliffe student named Jennifer (Ali McGraw). Despite his family’s opposition, Oliver and Jennifer marry, but unfortunately she soon dies of a terminal illness.
Love Story was the #1 film of 1970 and remains one of the highest-grossing films of all time, but was panned by critics. It is considered to be one of the most romantic films ever made.
The Champ is a 1979 sports drama directed by Franco Zefferelli, a remake of a 1931 film directed by King Vidor. It’s about an ex-boxing champion named Billy (Jon Voigt), who has custody of his young son T.J. (Ricky Schroeder).
Little T.J.worships his father, who he calls “The Champ”, and Billy begins working on a comeback to earn more money for him. T.J.’s mother Annie (Faye Dunaway) comes back into his life; now wealthy, she wants to regain custody of her son. Billy wins his fight, but unfortunately he dies from his injuries in front of a distraught T.J. The Champ received poor reviews, but is considered to be the saddest movie in the world.
An Affair to Remember is a 1957 romance directed by Leo McCarey, and is a remake of McCarey’s 1939 film Love Affair. It is about a painter named Nickie (Cary Grant) who meets a woman named Terry (Deborah Kerr) on a transatlantic ocean liner. They fall in love, even though both of them are involved with other people.
Arranging to meet atop the Empire State Building, Terry is unfortunately mangled in a car accident on her way there, and ends up in a wheelchair. Nickie believes she has rejected him, as Terry doesn’t want him to know she is disabled. It isn’t a tragedy and ends on quite a hopeful note. The #20 film of 1957, it is considered one of the most romantic films of all time.
Ishtar is a 1987 adventure comedy directed by Elaine May, and starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as two untalented singer-songwriters who get caught up in political unrest while on tour in North Africa. Shot on location and massively over-budget, Ishtar is an infamous box office failure that was panned by critics and earned May a Worst Director at the Golden Raspberry Awards; she never directed another film.
Lorelai includes the film as a joke, to suggest that they might rent Ishtar in order to cry over how bad it is – indeed, Ishtar quickly became regarded as the worst film ever made. However, since the film was released on Blu-Ray on 2013 its reputation has been rehabilitated to some extent, gaining a cult following, and praise from film makers such as Martin Scorcese and Quentin Tarantino.
Old Yeller is a 1957 family drama produced by Walt Disney, and based on the 1956 award-winning children’s book of the same name by Fred Gipson. Set in Texas in the late 1860s, it is about a boy named Travis (Tommy Kirk) and his faithful hound, a golden retriever cross named Old Yeller. Unfortunately, Old Yeller gets rabies and Travis has to shoot him.
Old Yeller was the #4 film of 1957, and warmly praised as sentimental family film. It’s a film that Americans, especially baby boomers, remember with fondness as having one of the most tear-jerking scenes ever, and has become something of a cultural icon. Lorelai wonders if it might be more of a crying film for guys; it’s definitely one for animal lovers, which Rory doesn’t seem to be.