It was inevitable that, due to the success of Heroes, we’d start seeing the actors involved in various other productions. Enter Hayden Panettiere who is the title character of I Love You, Beth Cooper, a film based off of a novel of the same name. While the film and novel share copious amounts of dialogue and situations with one another, the eventual result from director Chris Columbus resulted in something less than stellar. Critics wailed on the film and the movie limped to a box office closing under $16 million (with the film budgeted for $18 million). Top that off with a failed “viral marketing” attempt by Fox and you have yourselves the makings of a major disappointment.
A quiet, reserved teen experiences a wild night to remember in I Love You, Beth Cooper, arriving on Blu-ray Disc (BD) and DVD November 3 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Chris Columbus (Home Alone films) and starring hot Hollywood sensation Hayden Panettiere (“Heroes”) in the title role, the film is based on a novel written by Emmy Award-winner* Larry Doyle (“The Simpsons”). When Denis Cooverman (Paul Rust; Semi-Pro), the geekiest guy in high school, proclaims his love for super-popular Beth Cooper during his valedictorian speech, everyone is… well… speechless! But the real shock comes that night when Beth shows up at Denis’ house with her two best friends to show him how the cool kids party. You’ll LOL as Denis tries to keep up with Beth — and stay away from her maniacal ex-boyfriend Kevin and his ticked-off pals. Plus, watch Denis and Beth take their hilarious relationship to a whole new level with the outrageous alternate ending you didn’t see in theaters!
I’ll give the novel this was based off credit: it is a slightly entertaining story. However, unlike the synopsis above states, I did not “LOL” at this and I, instead, repeatedly asked WTF is this movie and why am I watching it. There’s a certain amount of juvenile behavior I can withstand from a film and while this film started out strong enough with a fairly believable cast and humorous premise, it eventually just turned to crap. I’m not sure when this film turned into a complete waste of time, but it was somewhere around the girls shower sequence and the raccoon bit. I mean this film may as well be something like a PG-13 The Girl Next Door which…it kind of is, since the main character sees that his love interest is not what she appears to be, only to fall in love with her at the end anyway.
Did I spoil it for you? Of course I didn’t. This film is incredibly predictable and also an incredible waste of time. Cooper just doesn’t have any charm and while the dialogue is obviously supposed to be “hilarious” and incredibly “witty,” it instead has incredibly flat and disappointing delivery. I’m not sure when I’ve been so disappointed with a comedy before, but…man. Columbus, whose work I usually enjoy, was just really off his game here. I laughed maybe once or twice and that was forced. I just found none of the situations or characters in this film particularly believable and when it comes to “teens having a wild night out,” I’ll stick to more original productions like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
Whether it’s the unoriginal sight gags (tampons in nose…great!), the obvious pandering to the male crowd with the shower like sequence (you’ll never out-do Porky’s, so don’t try. Especially not within a PG-13 movie), and just an overall incredibly stupid night out, I honestly don’t see where Fox thought this would be a good idea. Maybe because the book earned such accolades, but the fact of the matter is teenagers rarely engage in PG-13 behavior and when you try to dumb it down to that level, you end up with something that’s a complete and steaming pile.
Overall I Love You, Beth Cooper gives you nothing. You invest an hour and forty minutes into it and the film gives you dated jokes, stupid visual gags and a very uneven cast (I don’t know whether I’m tired of Panettiere because of how stupid Heroes has gotten, or simply because she really didn’t fit this character at all) and the film gives you absolutely nothing back in return. Please, just Skip this one.
I Love You, Beth Cooper arrives on Blu-ray in a standard Elite Eco Blu-ray case without any inserts. Disc art is basic, menu is simple and easy to navigate, and the AVC encoded 1080p transfer is what you’d expect from a modern production. It’s clean, clear, boasts plenty of detail, and is pretty much the only enjoyable thing about watching the film. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track that accompanies it has a decent amount of surround work during crowded sequences. The soundtrack pumps out the occasional bit of bass and overall it’s a solid track, if a bit underwhelming.
Extras are light and are pretty generic. Included:
• Alternate Ending
• Deleted Scenes
College Worthy Handyman
Beth Digs for Buried Treasure
Beth Remembers a Cooverman Moment
• “I Love You, Larry Doyle”
• “We Are All Different But That’s A Good Thing” – behind the scenes with the cast
• “Peanut Butter Toast” – improvised song by Paul Rust
• FOX Movie Channel Presents in Character with Hayden Panettiere
• FOX Movie Channel Presents in Character with Paul Rust
An alternate ending and collection of rather worthless deleted scenes accompanied by a series of cookie cutter behind the scenes pieces? Yeah, no thank you. These extras look like a decent list, but they’re all short and completely pointless. Skip It.
I Love You, Beth Cooper is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.