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I Love you, Beth Cooper

Let’s start this review off right. I Love You, Beth Cooper is the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen of comedies. If you’ve read my Revenge of the Fallen review then you’re well aware that I don’t mean that as a compliment. With all the controversy surrounding Bruno, I pose this question to you the viewer; what’s more offensive? A comedy that shocks audiences into laughter or a comedy that stuns audiences into coma? Truth be told, I Love You, Beth Cooper has a few scattershot laughs, but overall, it’s a bust.
In I Love You, Beth Cooper, unpopular valedictorian Denis Cooverman (Paul Rust) professes his love to high school hottie Beth Cooper (Hayden Panettiere) as part of his epic graduation speech. Problem is, Beth doesn’t even know Denis exists. In addition to making this awkward proclamation, Denis also proceeds to bring to light privileged information regarding other students on campus. It’s all part of his newly adopted “say what you feel before its too late” philosophy. To his great amazement, Denis is shocked to discover that Beth finds his admission cute. So cute in fact, that she and her popular girlfriends (Lauren London and Lauren Storm) decide to make an appearance at Denis’ graduation party. What follows is a convoluted mess of a movie that finds Denis butting heads with a few of his hostile classmates and unexpectedly joining forces with a few others. All these things are done in order to impress the girl of his dreams. A girl he doesn’t even know.

I Love You, Beth Cooper was directed by Chris Columbus and written by Larry Doyle (based on his own novel) and it attempts to put the audience in a sort of hyper reality/dreamlike state that might remind one of Better Off Dead, License to Drive, or Weird Science. In fact, since I mentioned Weird Science as an influence, I might as well tell it like it really is; I Love You, Beth Cooper is a sad carbon copy of all things John Hughes (Ferris Bueller’s Alan Ruck even shows up as Denis’ unbelievably understanding father). The big difference between Hughes’s films and this movie, is that most of Hughes’ works (the critically panned Weird Science included – I love that movie!) were witty, energetic, funny, and, for the most part, sincere. I Love You, Beth Cooper isn’t any of those things. It can’t even capture a fraction of the heart found in Superbad or a hint of the edge and cleverness so prominent in Mean Girls and Heathers (other noteworthy films this movie seems to be emulating).
This movie really is a train wreck. Unfortunate, because the set up suggests that perhaps something fun might transpire. Sadly, nothing really does. Who to blame? The cast? The director? Writer? All of the above? I think it starts with the story.
Panettiere is gorgeous and Heroes proves that she’s much more than a pretty face, but I’m convinced that every time she was on screen in this movie, Michael Bay was brought in to call the shots. Her Beth Cooper isn’t really a character. She’s treated more like a piece of meat. She’s essentially Megan Fox in Transformers only with a tad more emotion. The superficial screenplay never really allows her to be anything more than a sex object. Rust has a terrific look for this picture, but he’s asked to completely overplay the proceedings. The dumb jokes, the facial tricks, the super hero themed underwear. Everything is simply overdone. A shame too because a few moments near the end of the picture suggest that Rust has some chops, but in the end, we never really get to see what this kid is made of because, as is the case with Beth, his Denis isn’t really a character either.


September 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment