I Love You, Beth Cooper Directed by: Chris Columbus Cast: Paul Rust, Hayden Panettiere, Jack T. Carpenter, Lauren Storm Running Time: 1 hr 41 mins. Rating: PG-13 Release Date: June 10, 2009
Plot: Super-nerd valedictorian (Rust) proclaims his love for the hottest girl in school, Beth Cooper (Panettiere), during his graduation speech. That night, Beth shows up at his door and takes him out for the night of his life. Based on the novel by Larry Doyle.
Who’s It For? Normally I would say this is all about the teenage crowd, but even they should have enough taste to avoid this. The only ones I can't stop are those with huge Panettiere crushes.
Expectations: A little fun high school humor never hurt anyone. If I give it a second of thought, I'm not a Panettiere fan. I've seen every episode of "Heroes" and after the last one, I finally stopped. No more. She's only partly to blame.
Actors: Paul Rust as Denis Cooverman: I'm not picking on him here, I just don't see Rust getting another leading role. He's uncomfortable to root for here as Denis. His opening speech about loving Beth Cooper is fine, but then he starts attacking others. It's not enduring, it's mean. Denis could be 18 or 40, I'm not sure. And when he constantly gets beaten up, I'm just thinking one harder punch and we're all out of our misery. Score: 1
Hayden Panettiere as Beth Cooper: Never have I disliked a title character more. Sure, I haven't done hours of research to verify this, but I'm going with my gut here. It's been decided Panettiere is the object of affection. I disagree. I think she's got more of the girl next door, sweet, innocent. She doesn't have the ... sexual power of Elisha Cuthbert in The Girl Next Door. Beth is all over the place crazy, and I think she might actually be trying to kill herself, though it's never discussed in the film. Score: 2
Jack T. Carpenter as Rich Munsch: Is he gay or straight? They want us to care. But mainly, he's just awkward and it has nothing to do with his sexuality. The film comes to a screeching halt every time he talks in movie quotes. It's not a joke, the kid's got a serious social problem. The one thing that almost works is the towel whipping scene. If only it was set up a little earlier. Score: 2
Lauren Storm as Treece: She's easy. That's all there is here. I can't help but think of a girl watching this and deciding Treece is not the biggest waste of space in all the land. It's uncomfortable to watch a teenager talk about how she will do anything that moves, especially when it comes from being insanely dim. Score: 1
Talking: Denis and Rich share too many moments that are meant to be jokes that just have no comedic rhythm at all. Denis is a stalker, and Beth likes to have someone crave her. That's all I got from their moments together. Score: 1
Sights: Hello: That's what her panties say. That's not the best visual moment. The only thing I truly cared about was the cabin they ended up at. It's beautiful, and so is the lake that is overlooks. I want to be there ... as one as these kids aren't. Score: 2
Sounds: "Schools Out For Summer." Really? REALLY? Everyone of these carbon-copy characters knows the words to this song? I don't even know all the words to this song. "Beth" by KISS also makes its presence known, and somehow they try and sell the idea that Denis thinks it's cool that Beth's parents' are KISS fans. Score: 1
It's the worst movie I have seen this year. This movie brings up a lot of classics. None worse than Say Anything. It's simply disrespectful for a film that has dumbed itself down in every way possible to bring up a romantic comedy that just nails it. This is the worst version of Can't Hardly Wait imaginable. Denis shouldn't hang out with Beth. Beth shouldn't give Denis the time of day. It's cut, copy and paste from beginning to end and you see every possible flat joke before they speak it. When people asked what movie I saw, and I said I Love You, Beth Cooper ... it felt dirty and wrong. To say "love" with this movie just doesn't feel right.
Final Score: 1/10