By Kim Hollis
February 18, 2009
Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: We decide whether we love Beth Cooper.
I Love You, Beth Cooper
When I read the novel I Love You, Beth Cooper several months ago, I knew that it was a perfect set-up for a film. And in a lot of ways, this made a great deal of sense. Author Larry Doyle has plenty of experience with writing screenplays and scripts. He's been involved in a lot of things I really, really like, including Beavis and Butthead, Daria and The Simpsons, but he also delivered the screenplays for Duplex and Looney Tunes: Back in Action, so perhaps there should be a sense of Buyer Beware.
Really, though, the short novel I Love You, Beth Cooper is a coming-of-age treasure, and one of the most fun books I've had the pleasure of reading in the past few years. It tells the story of a nerdy teen named Denis Cooverman, who inexplicably decides during his valedictory graduation speech to blurt out, "I Love You, Beth Cooper". Beth Cooper is the beautiful cheerleader for whom he's pined during his high school years, and he decides that it's now or never to get his feelings about her out there. Soon, things escalate as she shows up at Denis' house for an impromptu graduation party, pursued by her super jealous older boyfriend from the military. Like many teen comedies, lots of hijinks and sweetness ensue.
For me, the trailer makes it look like writer Doyle and director Chris Columbus have gotten the tone just right. The movie looks like a lot of fun and is reminiscent of all kinds of earlier comedies (Nadine, Can't Buy Me Love, Can't Hardly Wait, American Pie) while still staking out a place all its own. Hayden Panettiere seems just about perfect for the role of Beth Cooper (which I hadn't been sure about prior to the trailer) and Paul Rust, who I apparently saw in Semi-Pro but fortunately don't remember, feels right as Denis Cooverman. I'm hoping this one will spark an interest that goes beyond simply people who loved the book. Either way, I suggest you go buy it or check it out from your local library right now.
Phoebe in Wonderland
This trailer tells us exactly nothing about what this movie is about. And yet, it had everything in it to tell me that I want to see it. Essentially, the preview is a two-minute song and dance number featuring Elle Fanning as Alice (of Wonderland fame) and a number of other kids. It's obviously a school production being headed up by Campbell Scott. And that's all we know.
Still, the singing and dancing are really pretty darned good, especially when you consider that these are all children. And I love Campbell Scott, so seeing him watching the kids with a look of consternation on his face is enough to make me curious. The play seems like it's going great. So why would he seem so troubled? I'll definitely be watching Phoebe in Wonderland so that I can find out.