|I Love You, Beth Cooper|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chris Columbus|
|Produced by||Chris Columbus |
|Screenplay by||Larry Doyle|
|Based on||I Love You, Beth Cooper|
by Larry Doyle
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Edited by||Peter Honess|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$16.4 million|
I Love You, Beth Cooper is a 2009 comedy film directed by Chris Columbus and starring Hayden Panettiere and Paul Rust. It is based on the novel by Larry Doyle, with Doyle also writing the film's screenplay.
On graduation day at Buffalo Glenn High School, valedictorian Denis Cooverman confesses his love for head cheerleader and long time crush, Beth Cooper in his speech while also taunting vain rich girl Valli, ignorant bully Greg, and Beth's Army soldier boyfriend Kevin; and urging his best friend Rich to finally admit he's gay. Afterwards, Denis invites Beth and her friends, Cammy and Treece, to a party he has planned at his house.
At Denis's house, his parents leave but not before his father revealing that he has condoms upstairs if he needs them. Beth, Cammy, and Treece arrive at Denis's house for the party. Kevin and his Hummer soon come barging in, with his Army buddies Dustin and Sean, vowing revenge on Denis. They wreck the kitchen attempting to beat Denis up, but the five teenagers escape in Beth's Echo.
They drive to a gas station hoping to get beer, but the clerk will not accept Beth's drivers license, which states that she is 37. Beth successfully bribes the clerk with a kiss, which makes Denis realize that she is not who he thinks she is.
The group starts a bonfire in an isolated section of town where Rich, Cammy, and Treece are chased by a stampede of cows after trying to tip one over. When Denis puts on the KISS song "Beth", Beth tells him that she was named after the song. Denis thinks it's cool that Beth has two "headbangers" for parents. Beth slowly warms to Denis, becoming aware that he genuinely loves her, much to her amazement.
They all jump in the Echo and Beth, a crazy reckless driver, drives without lights. They stumble upon Denis' parents, having sex in their car, by almost crashing into them. Rather than facing Denis' father with his pants down, Beth drives them away unseen, going to a private party at Valli's house. Kevin and his friends track them there, and Kevin challenges Denis to a fight. Greg briefly overpowers the three, in defence of Denis, then Beth crashes Kevin's Hummer through the front of Valli's house and rescues her four friends.
Beth takes them to their vacant school, entering with her head cheerleader key. After showcasing their cheerleading routine, Beth decide they should all shower in the girls' locker room. Just as Denis is undressing to join the others, Kevin and his buddies arrive in the Echo and jump Denis again. Rich attacks the thugs in a towel whipping 'duel', as he has been training for years after being towel whipped as a young kid. Rich towel-whips them unconscious down a flight of stairs, then the kids flee in the Echo, going to Treece's family cabin. Rich, Treece, and Cammy have a threesome, while Beth and Denis enjoy the sun rise and finally share their first kiss.
They return to Denis' house, where his father is delighted to see he has 'hooked up', but makes him aware he still needs to be punished for leaving the house a wreck. Beth says goodbye, gives Denis a kiss, and touchingly thanks him for loving her. Denis tells her "what's not to love" and that she mustn't forget that. They promise to reunite at their high school reunion and agree to marry if they are both still single.
After the girls leave, Rich proclaims to Denis that he might be gay after all, or perhaps bisexual, but jokes that after the threesome, he's still more heterosexual than Denis. Denis informs Rich that he will not wait until the reunion to talk to Beth again, and that he is going to ask her out on Facebook. Richard tells Denis that he should make a grand gesture by going to her house with a boom box (a reference to Say Anything...) and wait for her. They continue debating how Denis should go about asking Beth on a date.
- Hayden Panettiere as Beth Cooper
- Paul Rust as Denis Cooverman
- Jack T. Carpenter as Rich Munsch
- Lauren London as Cammy
- Lauren Storm as Treece
- Shawn Roberts as Kevin
- Alan Ruck as Mr. C
- Cynthia Stevenson as Mrs. C
- Jared Keeso as Dustin
- Brendan Penny as Sean
- Marie Avgeropoulos as Valli Wooley
- Josh Emerson as Greg Saloga
The director’s then teenaged daughter, Violet Columbus, opens the film performing a song as one of the high school graduates.
In early 2008, producers announced the novel I Love You, Beth Cooper would be made into a film, with actress Hayden Panettiere in the title role. Filming began in 2008, with a release slated for July 10, 2009. The film was directed by Chris Columbus, with the screenplay written by Doyle.
The film's official website was launched on February 14, 2009 with a Valentine's Day themed "personalize your own trailer and e-card" widget that allowed for customization of the trailer and that could be sent to loved ones, friends and family.
The first track is performed by Violet Columbus.
|1.||"Forget Me"||Violet Columbus||2:50|
|2.||"Try It Again"||The Hives||3:30|
|3.||"Come Out of the Shade"||The Perishers||3:58|
|5.||"Last Kiss"||Christophe Beck||2:44|
|6.||"Catch Me If You Can"||Gym Class Heroes||5:08|
|7.||"Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast"||Airbourne||3:43|
|8.||"A Good Idea at the Time"||OK Go||3:12|
|9.||"Beth Cooper Suite"||Christophe Beck||4:41|
|12.||"Who Knew?"||Christophe Beck||1:07|
|13.||"Feels Like the First Time"||Foreigner||3:51|
|14.||"School's Out"||Alice Cooper||3:30|
|15.||"Forget Me"||Eleni Mandell||3:13|
In its opening weekend (July 10–12), the film grossed $4,919,433 at 1,858 theaters, which was enough for seventh place. The film grossed $14,800,725 at the domestic box office and $1,581,813 in other territories, and it finished its worldwide theatrical run with a total of $16,382,538.
The film received negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 13% based on 119 professional reviews. The site's consensus states: "Heavily reliant on stereotypes and shallow teen comedy clichés, I Love You Beth Cooper is a humorless affair that fails to capture the charm of its source novel." On Metacritic the film has a score of 32% based on reviews from 30 critics, indicating generally unfavorable reviews. Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B- on scale of A to F.
Ben Lyons from At the Movies called the film "The Worst Film of 2009 So Far", criticizing it for its stereotypical portrayal of high school students and glorification of drinking and driving. Peter Martin of Cinematical stated that much of the dialogue was lifted directly from the book, but when spoken on screen, the lines fall flat. "The adaptation from R-rated novel to PG-13 film comes into play." In a scene where Beth and Denis try to buy beer, Beth offers to kiss the store clerk so that she can buy the beer but the viewer does not see the kiss. Martin calls Panettiere's performance unconvincing as a "rule-breaking girl who walks on the wild side".
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine was critical of director Chris Columbus. Travers felt that Columbus flattened every joke and sucked the life out of the actors, and felt that Columbus' flair for sight gags reached its peak when Denis uses two tampons to stem a nosebleed. Brian Lowry of Variety magazine complains that the film "Peaks early -- like, during the first three minutes -- and rapidly goes downhill from there" and "if only Columbus had found a way to relate Doyle’s story with greater style, and in less than 102 laborious minutes."
Roger Ebert gave the film 2/4 stars, and criticizes the film for being just another derivative teen rom com, although he expresses optimism about the next films from Panettiere and Rust. Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gives the film a B+ grade and calls it a "pleasantly low-key teen comedy" and concludes that the story is essentially timesless.
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