Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack
T. Carpenter, Lauren London, Lauren Storm, Shawn Roberts
RunTime: 1 hr 42 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: NC-16 (Some Nudity and Sexual References)
Official Website: http://www.iloveyoubethcoopermovie.com/
Day: 3 September 2009
I LOVE YOU BETH COOPER chronicles the story of a nerdy valedictorian
who proclaims his love for the hottest and most popular girl
in school – Beth Cooper – during his graduation
speech. Much to his surprise, Beth shows up at his door that
very night and decides to show him the best night of his life.
Imagine this. You are your school’s valedictorian, the one who has been earmarked to potentially do his best in the future. At graduation, your school expects you to give a speech to the rest of your peers, hoping that you share with them some pearls of wisdom that may also encourage them to do better. Instead, upon the advice of your best friend, you decide to use the chance to profess your love for a girl who probably has been unaware of your existence despite your sitting behind her in class. You do it, lest you regret it in the future. Again, at graduation. And that is the basic premise of the movie I Love You, Beth Cooper.
Said valedictorian is Dennis Cooverman (Paul Rust) and his object of desire if the titular, Beth Cooper (Hayden Panetierre). His decision to give his “inspiring” speech gets him into trouble with Beth Cooper’s overtly jealous and very mental military boyfriend and also with his other peers who he also decides to trash in his speech.
The rest of the movie revolves around Beth Cooper and her two friends coming over to Dennis’ house for his party (which only consisted of him and his best friend, Rich) and how the party becomes a madcap escape from psycho boyfriend which eventually becomes a coming-of-age story.
The little known Paul Rust is decent as the protagonist, a role which Michael Cera would have been comfortable in but probably did not want to play. His social ineptness is the perfect foil to Hayden Panetierre’s character, who obviously is a hottie without needing much effort in the movie. She lights up the screen with her beauty, probably the best part of the movie and there are not a lot of good parts. The rest of the cast just about rounds it off with conventional characters that can be found in this kind of movies.
It was a surprise to discover that Chris Columbus who directed the first two Harry Potter movies and the likes of Mrs Doubtfire directed this movie, which seems like something not exactly up his alley. True enough, the movie, based on Larry Doyle’s novel is an awkward movie to grasp with its bad dialogue (save for a classic one-liner about a threesome) and weak script. The movie starts off slowly for the first twenty minutes or so and tries to grow slowly on the audience but when it does grow on the audience, it happens in the last twenty minutes of the movie.
I Love You, Beth Cooper is more appropriate for the teenage generation looking for something to identify with post-high school but for everyone else, it does nothing much to help reminisce. The movie feels like it wants to channel some of the late John Hughes’ works like The Breakfast Club but it falls far from the mark. Nothing new or original to offer, this movie is just like its protagonist, awkward, never knowing to go with raunchy, sweet or cathartic.
(An awkward teen movie with nothing new or original to offer)
Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri