I Love You, Beth Cooper

Release Date: July 10, 2009

Movie of the Day for Tuesday, June 9, 2009
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Is she standing in a bathroom?

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
69/82 Kelly Metz The few good moments weren't enough to make up for the lame acting/dialogue/plot for the rest of it.
127/169 Max Braden Such a letdown from the book. The movie needed a lot more energy (and supporting soundtrack). License to Drive and Chris Columbus' own Adventures in Babysitting are a lot more fun.

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It's tough being a high school nerd. Not everyone can relate to that kind of feeling, of course, but surely we've all seen nerdly sorts in movies like Weird Science and Sixteen Candles. Heck, Anthony Michael Hall had a cottage industry on playing nerds way back before he got all buff.

Clearly, Larry Doyle is a guy who understands what it was like to be a teenager. Really, this is something most of us can relate to. If we're not teenagers right now, we will be soon. Or we were at some point in our lives, anyway. There's a lot of pain and agony that go along with the age, but also a lot of hilarious, fun moments that live on in our memories for a lifetime.

After dealing with childhood and early teen years by writing for The Simpsons and Beavis and Butthead, Larry Doyle has now moved into the realm of novels with I Love You, Beth Cooper, which tells of the disasters that befall a young man named Denis Cooverman on the night of his graduation. During his valedictory speech, the young man does something extremely ill-advised and declares his love for Beth Cooper - a cheerleader and all-around popular chick. Everything's a surprise in the Chicago 'burb known as Buffalo Grove, though. Beth shows up at an impromptu party at Denis' house - and that's just the beginning of an extremely wild night.

The book is extremely well-written and hilarious. For anyone who ever attended high school, some palpable memories are dredged up. Doyle adapted the screenplay himself, which bodes quite well for the theatrical version. It's also got Chris Columbus at the helm. Say what you will about the guy, but he's directed a couple of solid movies with kids in their teenage years, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Home Alone and Adventures in Babysitting).

Perhaps the biggest draw for I Love You, Beth Cooper is the young lady playing Beth Cooper herself. Hayden Panettiere, who has a sizable following thanks to playing another cheerleader character on Heroes, will be the main name above the titles. Relative unknown Paul Rust plays Denis Cooverman. In a nice little bit of teen movie symmetry, Alan Ruck, who portrayed the lugubrious Cameron Frye in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, is Denis's father.

Doyle's book has a solid following of fans who have spread word-of-mouth quite willingly. All of them (including me) are sure to be anxious to see how the movie translates to the big screen. It feels like a winner, but teen flicks are notoriously tough to predict. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for I Love You, Beth Cooper
Main Cast Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack Carpenter
Supporting Cast Lauren Storm, Lauren London
Director Chris Columbus
Screenwriter Larry Doyle
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Screen Count 1,858
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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