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I Love You, Beth Cooper

Released

Latest Home Video

Nov 03, 2009

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

100

Cast

Hayden Panettiere

Paul Rust

Chris Columbus

Studio

2009 Fox Atomic

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: I Love You, Beth Cooper.

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Reviewed by

Overall D+
ViolenceB-
SexC-
LanguageD+
Drugs/AlcoholD+
Run Time100

Making the Grades

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.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about I Love You, Beth Cooper.

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?

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Coarse and Sexual Language. Violence.
AB 14A Crude Sexual Content, Language May Offend.
MB 14A Not Recommended For Children.
ON 14A Sexual Content.
QC 13+
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: 14A

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of I Love You, Beth Cooper...

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.

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