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Sunday, May 1, 2016

No love for Beth Cooper

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Chris Columbus directed I Love You, Beth Cooper is an unoriginal rehashing of every teen-comedy stereotype that doesn't live up to any of its predecessors. It seems the only thing Columbus discovered was that putting Hayden Panettiere doesn't necessarily translate into box office success.

Denis Cooverman (Paul Rust) stands on the brink of his speech at his high school graduation. The love of his life sits in the crowd and the fact that he may never see her again is a reality he struggles with. Cooverman's movie quoting wingman Rich (Jack Carpenter) convinces him his speech will be his final opportunity to confess his love.

Following Rich's urging, Denis let's flow his emotions and not only singles out Beth Cooper (Panettiere), but those who have wronged him along the way through high school, one of which is Cooper's overly buffed military boyfriend Kevin (Shawn Roberts).

The rest of Denis' night is spent trying to keep up with the wild Cooper, who as he finds out over the course of the night, isn't quite as secure with who she is as he thought. Of course, it wouldn't be an adventure if her testosterone fueled boyfriend wasn't in hot pursuit, waiting for the moment to crush her nerdy suitor.

The night ends with Cooper and Cooverman talking about what the future holds as they watch the sunrise, with Cooverman acknowledging all of his memories of high school are from this night.

I was surprised at how unoriginal the entire movie was. In addition to the story, even camera moves and angles were predictable. It had its moments of hilarity, mostly from Rust's reactions, but those were few and far between.

The only element of the movie I thought worked was the moment where Beth Cooper is looking into the stands of her empty high school gym and begins to tear up as she realizes she'll never hear those cheers again. The scene was the by far the best of the movie.

There were two other aspects of the film that stood out for me. First, Shawn Roberts needs to be a superhero. He was already overlooked for the role of the Green Lantern, but this guy could be a star. Second, with Alan Ruck (Mr. Cooverman) in the film, I was hoping for a Ferris Bueller line from Rich, but it never came. One of many opportunities squandered by the filmmakers.

Final Cut: I Love You, Beth Cooper has nothing to offer in originality, but if watching the same style of movie over and over is your thing -- check it out. With a talented cast, a talented director and a story that had potential, this movie is the stereotypical letdown.

1.5 out of 5 stars

I Love You, Beth Cooper

Starring: Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack Carpenter, Lauren London, Lauren Storm

Director: Chris Columbus

Writer: Larry Doyle

Available Nov. 3 on DVD and Blu-Ray from Twentieth Century Fox

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