To answer the question whether or not Willy Russell actually wrote a love story as he intended to do, I consider certain aspects. I find two totally different main characters in Frank and Rita and therefore will be dealing with completely different ways of behaviour and reaction. By interpreting their statements and actions it might be possible to find some kind of conclusion.
To begin with it is possible to say that Educating Rita does not seem to be a love story in a common sense. Nevertheless there are signs that Frank becomes more and more interested in Rita and her fate. She has got a refreshing effect on him, which is caused by her naivety, enthusiasm and very own way of talking about and experiencing literature. In act 1, scene 2 he tells her how much he wished she had walked in twenty years before. Especially at the beginning of their acquaintance Rita is used to telling him almost everything about her life, very much so about private matters. But as she becomes more "educated" and changes her feelings towards literature, which becomes less important for her, Frank almost starts insisting on knowing everything about her situation.
In scene 8 she is late for the lesson, because she has just been thrown out by her husband, and Frank is very much concerned about her and her situation. But Rita is much more concerned about her Macbeth essay and is rather interested in Frank´s opinion on it than in anything else. What she expects from Frank is criticism and support, whereas he wants to be allowed in taking part in her life. This scene already shows how different their intentions are.
Other signs of Frank´s feelings towards Rita are given in scene 2 of act . She has been late for the lesson and Frank realizes that she changed her way of talking, is trying to talk and act in a more sophisticated manner. He is shocked by this development. There is also a touch of jealousy in this scene. Rita has been telling him about her conversation...