I Love You, Beth Cooper

BethCooper

On the last day of high school, a debate-captain dork (Paul Rust) takes the opportunity of his valedictory speech to announce his obsessive affection for the hottie head cheerleader (Hayden Panettiere). Not unmoved by his sincerity, she treats him to an awkwardly enchanted evening, including a jaunt down the warpath of her meathead-soldier-coke-fiend boyfriend (Shawn Roberts). Simpsons writer Larry Doyle adapts his own novel, which was pretty much just a movie waiting to happen anyway, for director Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Rent), who misapplies his buffing touch by dampening sharp edges instead of polishing stilted scenes. Thus does I Love You, Beth Cooper sparkle with benevolence even as it creaks with contrivance. Its fine premise deserves a finer film, but this mediocre one should at least earn its makers some money and future opportunities. Also with Alan Ruck as our hero’s sweetly supportive dad and Jack Carpenter as his sweetly supportive, possibly gay pal.

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