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By Don R. Lewis | July 23, 2009

Class valedictorian Paul Cooverman (Paul Rust) has some things to say to his graduating class as he takes the podium. He calls out a kid who bullied him all through school and then makes note of one girl’s eating disorder before throwing his best friend under the bus for being a closeted homosexual. But the frosting on the speech comes when Cooverman professes his love for high school cheerleader (Hayden Panettiere playing against “Heroes” type…not) Beth Cooper for all the world to hear. Stupidity ensues as Cooverman and Cooper spend one wild and crazy night getting to know each other.

Let me be clear here: I hated this movie. I hated it so much I couldn’t even bring myself to laugh at how awful it was. I just looked around the theater full of ‘tweens and felt sorry for the fact that this film is trying to be this younger generation’s “Say Anything” or “Can’t Hardly Wait,” both of which are pretty great movies. While I can’t say for sure this young generation deserves a better high-school-graduation-last-chance-to-tell-a-girl-you-love-her movie, I can say that no one deserves to watch this unfunny, moronic and lame movie.

Paul Rust as Paul Cooverman is completely irritating, as is his best friend Richard Munsch (“Dick Munch!!” Get it!? He’s gay too! HAH!). They’re all equal in irritation to Cooper’s older military man boyfriend Kevin (Roberts) who spends the entire film in a coke-filled steroid rage chasing Cooverman all around town by triangulating Cooper’s cell phone signal. Huh? While the problems with this film are many and the laughs too few (i.e., none) I guess the biggest issue I had with the film was I have no idea what audience it was shooting for.

There’s a towel snapping battle in the film staged like a classic swordfight from the golden age of cinema. While stupid on the surface, it’s actually fine if you’re aiming for 9-12 year olds. But then later, there’s a sexual three-way that kicks off when two girls fellate the creamy sides of a hostess Suzy-Q to get the guy in the mood. That’s not really something for children to be seeing. Later the three girls (Panettiere included) decide to have an impromptu shower session for no real reason at all, it would seem. And trust me, I’m no prude, but combinations of scenes like that all go to show the amateurish nature of “I Love You, Beth Cooper.” Which leads to one of the biggest cinematic shocks I’ve had in a while. Until I sat down to write this review, I had no clue the film was directed by Chris Columbus.

While I’m no huge fan of Columbus, the guy has made some fine films and my shock comes from the fact that a seasoned pro got anywhere near this pile of crap. “I Love You, Beth Cooper” is sloppy, not funny, downright stupid, ridiculous as well as horribly themed and shot. If you like movies, don’t go see this one.

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  1. Vara says:

    To me, the movie followed the book’s events too closely and completely missed out on all of the really good bits.

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