I Love You, Beth Cooper parents guide

I Love You, Beth Cooper Parent Guide

Despite the potential in this script, there ends up being very little to love about Beth Cooper or any of the other teens at this graduation celebration.

Overall D+

Denis Cooverman (Paul Rust) has been harboring a secret crush on Beth Cooper (Hayden Panettiere). But when the nerdy guy decides to go public with his feelings for the popular girl by announcing his love during his valedictorian speech at their high school graduation ceremony, he is completely surprised by her almost positive reaction.

Release date July 10, 2009

Violence B-
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D+
Substance Use D+

Why is I Love You, Beth Cooper rated PG-13? The MPAA rated I Love You, Beth Cooper PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language, some teen drinking and drug references, and brief violence.

Run Time: 100 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

There are few things more frustrating than watching a half-good movie concept wasted as it wallows around in unnecessary stereotypes, rehashed scenarios and crude sexual humor. Unfortunately that is just what this film does.

At its most thoughtful level, I Love You, Beth Cooper is about taking chances and trying to live life without too many regrets. It is also about being able to define oneself beyond that narrow list of acceptable teen cliques and scrutinizing the kind of pedestals you put others on. With a little bit of concerted effort, all of these themes could have been developed into an interesting storyline for teens.

Instead we get Denis Cooverman (Paul Rust), a nerdy scholastic, who earns the honor of being valedictorian at his commencement exercises. With prodding from his best friend Rich Munsch (Jack Carpenter), he digresses from the usual "chase your dream" speech and substitutes a challenge to his classmates to come clean about their hidden secrets like eating disorders, physical abuse and sexual preferences. He "comes out" by publically broadcasting his secret crush on head cheerleader Beth Cooper (Hayden Panettiere).

The unorthodox address leaves the students and faculty shifting uncomfortably in their hard plastic chairs—especially Beth and her prone-to-violence boyfriend (Shawn Roberts). But that night, Beth and her girlfriends (Lauren London, Lauren Storm) show up at the Cooverman house for Denis’s grad gathering. After Beth’s boyfriend and his military buddies drop by and trash the place, Denis, Rich and the three girls head out for a long night of party hopping, disorderly conduct and unruly carousing.

Like so many other teen flicks, this one portrays the very worst of adolecent behavior—drug consumption, drinking and driving, and using sexual favors as a means to an end. The script is full of erection jokes, profanities and a locker room scene that includes partial female nudity. Much of the plot centers on Rich who is constantly pressured about being homosexual. When he fails to "perform" with two young females after a long sleepless night of partying, the question about his sexual preference seems to be answered.

As well, the film portrays delinquent parents who ignore their children, abuse them or encourage them to have premarital sex to commemorate their completion of secondary school. (At least Denis’s father provides a large package of contraceptive devices for his son.) Other adults are either absent, cuddling up with teenaged girls or engaging in their own sexual activities.

Besides being laden with content most parents would prefer to have their teens avoid, this film also suffers from lackluster acting and awkward composition that makes it difficult for the audience to engage with these characters. (Even the teens at the screening I attended lost interest and were busy talking long before the movie ended.) Despite the potential in this script, there ends up being very little to love about Beth Cooper or any of the other teens at this graduation celebration.

Starring Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Chris Columbus. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release July 10, 2009. Updated

I Love You, Beth Cooper
Rating & Content Info

Why is I Love You, Beth Cooper rated PG-13? I Love You, Beth Cooper is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for crude and sexual content, language, some teen drinking and drug references, and brief violence.

This film depicts teens drinking and driving, and consuming alcohol at a house party. One character uses a mug fashioned to look like a bare female chest. Young adults are also portrayed as being high on illegal drugs. There is some discussion about date rape drug use as well. A character threatens, chokes and punches a teen. He also destroys personal and public property. A boy is pushed from the roof of a house and later hit by a car. Characters are whipped in the groin and face with wet towels. One young adult falls down a flight of stairs. Characters are hit with objects. Teens drive recklessly. Sexual innuendo, portrayals and discussions include crude comments about body parts, sexual activities, alternative lifestyles and partial female nudity. A married couple makes out in a car and uses a vibrating phone for stimulation. A father encourages his son to have sex and provides contraceptive devices. A girl blows up a condom like a balloon. A male teacher makes advances on a female teen. A girl offers to kiss an employee if he will sell liquor to underage drinkers. (The kiss takes place off screen.) A teen engages in sexual activity with two females (no on-screen actions are seen). A character steps in cow manure. Another character sticks female hygiene products up his nose. Frequent profanities, terms of Deity and one use of an extreme sexual expletive are also used.

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More parents' guide for I Love You, Beth Cooper after the break...

I Love You, Beth Cooper Parents' Guide

How do depictions in films like this one impact the way teens are viewed by older people? How do they affect the way they see themselves? How accurate are these portrayals?

Why does high school appear to be the highlight of some people’s lives? Why is it necessary for some students to redefine themselves after graduation?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of I Love You, Beth Cooper movie is November 3, 2009. Here are some details…

Release Date: 3 November 2009

I Love You, Beth Cooper comes to Blu-ray and DVD with the following bonus materials:

- Alternate Ending

- Deleted Scenes: The Graduate, College Worthy Handyman, Beth Digs for Buried Treasure and Remembers a Cooverman Moment.

-Featurettes: I Love You, Larry Doyle, We Are All Different But That’s A Good Thing (behind the scenes with the cast) and Peanut Butter Toast (improvised song by Paul Rust).

- FOX Movie Channel Presents: In Character with Hayden Panettiere and In Character with Paul Rust.

Related home video titles:

In Napoleon Dynamite, another high school geek has his heart set on getting a date to prom with a popular cheerleader. A younger Hayden Panettiere plays a role in the movies Remember the Titans and Raising Helen.