Love Among The Ruins An aging actress is being sued for breach of promise. She hires as her lawyer a man who was an ex-lover, and is still in love with her, although she doesn’t know it. She realizes that the only way to win this case and protect her assets is to destroy her reputation.
In Love Among the Ruins, Katharine Hepburn makes one heck of an entrance! Laurence Olivier is shown first, fretting and fussing over his appearance and every detail in his office as he awaits her arrival, much like Gatsby’s nervous preparations before seeing Daisy in The Great Gatsby. In Katharine Hepburn waltzes, and while Laurence is smitten, he’s also incredibly disappointed. Decades ago, when Kate was a famous actress and Larry was a young law student, they were lovers. Now, when she’s a widow and he’s a successful barrister, Kate holds out her hand in introduction. She doesn’t remember him!
In this charming, heartwarming second-chance romance, Laurence Olivier gives an adorable performance. He’s got a few miles on him, but he’s full of vigor and innocently charming. He’s a hopeless romantic, winning over the audience’s heart immediately so they hope he’ll eventually win Kate’s heart as well. Kate is funny and spunky, and while she isn’t immediately as likable as her costar, she’s adorable and charming in her own way.
The main plot—or a side-plot, depending on how much you value the romance—is the court case. Kate is being sued for breech of promise by a significantly younger man, Leigh Lawson. In the olden days, “breech of promise” meant that someone had broken an engagement, and the jilted party could sue for emotional damages. As Kate is a wealthy widow, Leigh might be a gold digger; then again, Kate could be an outrageous flirt who refuses to act her age. You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.
Love Among the Ruins swept the 1976 Emmys, winning statues for Kate, Larry, director George Cukor, writer James Costigan, art direction, and costume design. While you can easily imagine the script had been adapted from a play, Costigan’s script was originally written for television. It’s smart and sassy, with hilarious references to the leading lady’s age without being insulting. Perhaps the cutest aspect of the film is the chemistry between the two leads. Kate and Larry were lifelong friends but had never made a film together until this one. You can clearly see how much they enjoy each other’s company, and it’s sheer magic to see such professionals acting alongside each other.