I Love You, Beth Cooper
- Eddie Harrison
- 14 August 2009
John Hughes protégée Chris Columbus desecrates his mentor’s memory with the ill-timed release of this so-called ‘comedy’. Columbus once rode high with comedies Home Alone and Mrs Doubtfire but his return to the teen genre in which he made his debut with Adventures in Babysitting is one big prom-night flop.
Slumming it from her Heroes day job, Hayden Panettiere plays Beth Cooper, a high school cheerleader coveted by geek Dennis Cooverman (an average Paul Rust). After exclaiming ‘I Love You Beth Cooper’ in his graduation speech, the object of Cooverman’s affections is flattered enough to pay him a house call, leading to a night of drunken parties, skinny dipping, self-discovery and nuclear-strength schmaltz.
Columbus and screenwriter Larry Doyle offer a continual stream of borrowings; Cooper’s brother is an army bully straight out of Hughes’ s Weird Science, Ferris Bueller star Alan Ruck gets a thanklessly minor role, and Cooverman’s best buddy Rich (Jack T Carpenter) constantly talks about 1980’s film Risky Business. Such outdated references, stuffed into the mouths of a young cast reveal all; Columbus can do nothing but artlessly ape; real filmmakers like Hughes observe life, not just other movies.
General release from Fri 21 Aug.