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I Love You, Beth Cooper Very Irresponsible

Published July 9, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
I Love You, Beth Cooper PosterI Love You, Beth Cooper
Well, I liked I Love You, Beth Cooper way more than I should have. I know it’s totally irresponsible and not even well constructed or performed, but it’s so wrong I found it strangely compelling.

Review: I Love You, Beth Cooper


I even liked the premise of what crazy adventure could begin with declaring your unspoken, unknown love in front of the whole school. The answer is, apparently nothing but contrived screenwriting clichés, but what an awesome place to start. He is right about all those unspoken high school truths.

There are some clever ideas, if they had been handled professionally. Chris Columbus has a certain style, most evident in Nine Months, where everything is so telegraphed that even getting hit in the nuts fails to be funny anymore. I mean this not personally, just a stylistic observation that doesn’t work for me but obviously does for many others. However, Beth Cooper does not have the pretense that Nine Months had, as if showing a horribly unsupportive relationship (on both sides) was a cute way to have fun with parenthood.

Things get really questionable when they start making jokes about date raping a dumb girl, because that’s hilarious. Actually, I loved the dumb girl though. She was adorable. She sticks with it and seems so happy about it, and she has a fantastic rack. “Wine reminds me of Jesus,” so cute.

The bully breaks into his house and attacks him at home, so that’s an actual crime that could be prosecuted. It’s really hard slapstick. I mean, this kid really gets bangs up, probably more so than should be played for comedy. They drive drunk, vandalize… I mean there should be a line between wacky antics and actual life endangerment. Yet, if they’re going to make light of it, I kinda want to see how far they go. The answer, playing with guns.



It is definitely a Fox Atomic movie. That failed experiment seems to have been a company policy of hiring no names to do bad comedy. These are hams who think they’re being sincere, including some kind of Seann William Scott impersonator, the best friend quoting movies and speaking Spanglish, an authority figure who can’t even feign embarrassment convincingly and more.

Then Cynthia Stevenson and Alan Ruck show up to show how a real character actor can play clichés and know it. Parents trying to be cool, worrying, knowing just a little bit of wisdom, that’s nothing deep but real actors know how to hit their beats. At least the main character is a real awkward dork, not like a Hollywood hunk in disguise.

Then there are some really heartfelt moments like the bully, but the film has not earned that at all. After date rape, DUI and gay jokes, it’s really irresponsible to deal with someone’s emotional pain and tragedy. Then the film just ridicules the poor guy anyway.

It’s definitely not for kids, not like South Park or Superbad should be appreciated by developing young minds to prepare them for life. But for a grown-up to enjoy how wrong it is, I was with it.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox
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