I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER
Dull, Dreary Playboy Fantasy
Release Date: July 10, 2009
Starring: Paul Rust, Hayden Panettiere,
Jack T. Carpenter, Lauren
London, Lauren Storm, and
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 102 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Director: Chris Columbus
Executive Producer: Larry Doyle, Jenny Blum and
Producer: Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe
and Michael Barnathan
Writer: Larry Doyle
Address Comments To:Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO of News Corp.
Peter Chernin, President/COO of The Fox Group
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen/CEO
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp. (Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox Atomic)
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
Denis Cooverman finds out that he is Buffalo Glenn High School valedictorian. His best friend, Rich, whom everybody accuses of being homosexual, tells Denis to say all the things in his speech he’s wanted to say, especially that he loves the most beautiful girl in the school, head cheerleader Beth Cooper, played by Hayden Panettiere. For years, Denis has sat behind Beth because of alphabetical order and wanted to tell her how much he loves her. He has a picture of her above his bed, which he uses to satisfy his fantasies. But even so, Denis has always been a superlative student, a conscientious gentleman and a complete dork.
Lo and behold, at his valedictory address, Denis not only declares his love for Beth but he exposes many of the other students’ flaws, such as Rich’s propensity to homosexuality, Cammie’s bitchiness, and Teresa’s promiscuity. Finally, the principal pushes him aside as the audience gets vicious. Beth Cooper comes up to him afterwards and thanks him. He invites her to his home for a party.
His parents give him some condoms, champagne and wine, and tell him to enjoy himself. Beth shows up with two of her friends, soon followed by her super jock, mean, military hopeful boyfriend, Kevin. Kevin trashes Denis’s home and beats him up.
Denis and Rich are saved by Beth and her friends. This begins a night of breaking all the rules, drinking to extreme, group sex, multiple fights, and violating as many laws as they can. As the production notes say, Denis “really experience some of the joys of higher learning – breaking curfew, destroying property, over-consumption of alcohol, fist fights, late nights, fast cars and fast women,” to which one must add deliberately mocking God. Rich ends up fornicating with two girls, Denis takes a nude shower with Beth and her friends. The message is that the playboy lifestyle is fun, but the movie belies the message.
Paul Rust, who plays Denis, is so boring that watching his performance is like watching steel rust. Hayden Panettiere does a moderately good job but everyone else is an embarrassment. Nobody looks like they’re having fun in this movie, and in the middle of the movie, Denis brings up the topic of fun with Beth, and she says do you think her lifestyle is fun? So, in some twisted way, this movie shows sin for what it is – vapid, vulgar and repulsive.
Evidently, the filmmakers thought they were making a movie for teenagers. If so, they missed their market by a mile. This is a movie intent on corrupting people of all ages. And, MOVIEGUIDE® issues its strongest warning to avoid I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER.
I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER is crammed with offensive content but incredibly, uncomfortably dull and dreary. Most of the acting is embarrassing. Nobody looks like they’re having fun. This is a movie intent on corrupting people of all ages. Teenagers hop in and out of bed. They vandalize property and drive drunk. And, the protagonist’s parents give him some condoms, champagne and wine. MOVIEGUIDE® issues its strongest warning to avoid I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER.