DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Video Games

Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds

Sponsored Links
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » I Love You, Beth Cooper (Blu-ray)
I Love You, Beth Cooper (Blu-ray)
Fox // PG-13 // November 3, 2009 // Region A
List Price: $39.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted November 7, 2009 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
Skip It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
Printer Friendly
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]

"But today, I would also like to look back...look back on our four years here at Buffalo Glenn High School. Looking back not with anger but with no regrets...no regrets for what we wanted to do but did not...what we wanted to say but could not. And so I say here today the one thing I wish I had said...the one thing I know I will regret if I never say. I love you, Beth Cooper. I have loved you, Beth Cooper, ever since I first sat behind you in Miss Rosa's math class in the 7th grade. I loved you when I sat behind you in Señor Weenyour's Spanish and Miss Calamet-Hobie's Literature of the Oppressed. I loved you from behind...in Biology, History, and yes!...Practical Science. I loved you, but I never told you because we never spoke...but now I say it with no regrets. I...love you, Beth Cooper."
Yeah, so that's a valedictorian speech. See, that wheezing, hyperdweeby Denis Cooverman (Paul Rust) is out the door to Stanford, and this is his one last shot to say something to the head cheerleader he's been quietly fawning over for six years straight (Hayden Panettiere). Oh, and he doesn't stop there either, calling out his classmates for bulemia, daddy-diddling, and double-digit-IQ-underage-skirt-chasing. Beth's ROTC-type boyfriend Kevin (Shawn Roberts) pummels him after the ceremony, natch, but Denis still manages to lob out to his creeped-out crush an invitation to his graduation party. She and her off-the-shelf entourage (y'know, The Ethnic One and The Ditzy, Slutty One) show up as a laugh, and it kinda goes without saying that they're the only ones to make it. I mean, Munsch (Jack Carpenter) -- Denis' best-slash-only friend -- is there too, but...c'mon, he doesn't count. Anyway, Denis keeps the parade of humiliation marching along, even managing to slice open his hand and give himself a black eye when opening a bottle of cheap champagne Mom and Pop left behind for him. Yeah, that bottle of the bubbly from Food Lion is a pretty mighty nemesis, but turns out...? That's nothing compared to Kevin and his cronies who plow their way into Denis' house for Revenge Mark II. Beth and her pals manage to scuttle the two of 'em out of harm's way, though, and the rest of the movie's a neverending, laughless onslaught of house parties, hijinks in the woods, finger-wagglingly-crazy driving, a few more beatdowns,
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]
and...::sniffles!:: budding romance.

Wow! So where to start with the long, long list of reasons why I can't stand Beth Cooper...? Might as well kick it off with a nod to Paul Rust, a 28-year-old playing a kid with high school still looming large in the rear view mirror. Denis is pretty unlikeable in the first place, one of those grating guys who's committed a bunch of meaningless facts to memory -- he's just waiting for someone to steer the conversation the right way so he can tell you the melting point of cadmium or something -- but isn't clever enough to actually do anything with all that. Rust's approach to comedy is half obnoxiously over-the-top, shamelessly-mugging slapstick and half wheezing, screeching, and squealing. This is a guy who tries to use a plastic light saber as a legitimate weapon. It's all just...shrill, tedious, and painful. I mean, the entire movie hinges on wanting to see some John Hughes-flavored sparks between Denis and Beth, but I didn't want to see them together and really didn't want to see him at all, ever. On the upside, I Love You, Beth Cooper does heap on a bunch of scenes with Denis getting pummeled, being plowed into by a Yaris or something, and being knocked off a roof and into a rose bed, so there's that.

Hayden Panettiere is
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]
too cute for words, even with those stubby super-short-girl proportions, but that's about all Beth Cooper really has going for her. Her character's supposed to be crazy!, yeah -- y'know, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl type -- but she's kinda...boring. Who cares if she drives like Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman or can crack open a bottle of beer with her teeth? There's not a sincere glimmer of life or genuine excitement there, just a beaming smile and 102 pages of schtick. Ditto for Munsch as Denis' best friend. Jack Carpenter's probably the most likeable of the actors in the movie, but he's saddled with too many annoying affections, with pretty much every word out of his mouth either insisting he's not gay, lobbing out some unintentional innuendo that's aimed in the completely opposite direction, saying random words in Spanish, or quoting a movie, complete with the name of the director and the year of release. Ugh.

'Course, swapping out the cast wouldn't help all that much. It desperately wants to play that balancing act between coming-of-age flick and comedy, like Dazed and Confused or something out of the John Hughes playbook. It's just that a real coming-of-age story demands some kind of insight into what's bobbing around in its character's heads. I Love You, Beth Cooper doesn't wanna slog around with that when it can just reach into its gunny sack and pull out some more third-rate sitcom schtick...y'know, cow poop, gay panic, re-enacting the climax of The Adventures of Robin Hood with wet towels...that sorta thing. Even something that ought to score a cheap laugh like flashbacks to junior high flail around in a nine-foot-deep tank of flop sweat. There are half-hearted stabs at characterization, like Beth talking about a long-since-dead brother she barely remembers, but they almost seem tacked on as an afterthought. It's a mix of half-hearted satire, room temperature comedy, and that rancid scent of desperation that it really, really wants you to like it. Munsch, Cammy, and Treece don't add much of anything -- hell, I couldn't even remember the girls' names without hitting up the IMDb -- and kind of just seem to be hanging around because every nerdy guy in a high school movie has a best friend, and every popular chick has an entourage, right? They're like a third, fourth, and fifth nipple, and not in a good way either. There's just...nothing sincere about I Love You, Beth Cooper. Not only is it cloying and unimaginative, but it's overly calculated in the wrong direction...soul-crushingly devoid of the funny. And Chris Columbus directed this? Really? Anyway, the smart money says you see where I'm going with all this: Skip It.

I Love You, Beth Cooper looks like...well, exactly how you'd expect a glossy studio comedy fresh out of theaters to turn out on Blu-ray. Crisp, detailed, and sporting punchy colors as well as a warm, filmic texture, I Love You, Beth Cooper turned out great in high-def, and I don't really have much more to ramble on about than that.

The laundry list of boring technical stuff: AVC encode, BD-50, faint letterboxing to preserve its theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. There you go.

I Love You, Beth Cooper veers away from the standard issue comedy mix...y'know, the way most of these movies anchor pretty much everything front and center, slosh a little ambience off in the surrounds, and only dust off the subwoofer when it's time to blast some Hot Topic-flavored mall-punk. Nope, this 24-bit, six-channel DTS-HD Master Audio track is actually pretty aggressive. After all, we're talking about a movie with its lead character getting whacked by a sedan, a Hummer plowing through the side of a ritzy, palatial estate, and a, uh, cow stampede. It might as well be an action flick what with the bobbing-dead-in-the-water sense of humor, and all of the fistfights and psychotic driving make for a spastic, hypercaffeinated sound design. The music also packs a wallop, from blaring '70s cock-rock down to the low-frequency assault of that booming booty bass. All of the dialogue's rendered cleanly and clearly, and it's never dialed down too low in the mix, although there are times when that would've been a good thing. I've gotta admit that I'm impressed, and this soundtrack definitely ranks more than a couple notches higher than average for a comedy on Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray disc also sports Dolby Digital 5.1 dubs in French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Subtitles are served up in English (SDH), Spanish, Portuguese, and Cantonese.

  • Alternate Ending (7 min.; HD): I guess I Love You, Beth Cooper originally had a much more spastic ending, and this alternate snippet heaps on one more full-frontal assault from Kevin and his flunkies, a rifle (hey there, Chekhov's gun!), a dead bear, and...why not? another Star Wars reference.

  • Deleted Scenes (8 min.; HD): Aside
    Him's gots tampons up him's nose!!!!!!!
    from the alternate ending, there are four other deleted scenes: some different gags aimed Denis' way after graduation, Munsch rattling off some new nicknames they could use to reinvent themselves in college, Beth digging through Denis' pants in a convenience store to fish out his wallet, and a flashback to pretty much the only thing Beth remembers about the dweeby guy she's been palling around with all night.

  • I Love You, Larry Doyle (6 min.; HD): Yeah, this pretty much is a Valentine to Larry Doyle, who adapted his novel of the same name for this movie. Some of the topics he breezes through here are how the nugget of an idea for the novel started in a dream, dialing back the more comic-ish approach of the novel, and trimming it all down to fit into an hour and a half and change. From there, the rest of the featurette's just the cast gushing about how spectacular and talented he is.

  • We Are All Different, But That's a Good Thing (9 min.; HD): It's not exactly a dead giveaway by the title, but this is pretty much a casting featurette, and the stars of the movie chat about their characters and each other. They also touch on working alongside a director like Chris Columbus, especially the homework he gave 'em to jot down a page of background information on each of their characters. Lauren Storm's wins, by the way, since the backstory she dreamed up involves Treece being an heir to the mighty Cheez Whiz empire.

  • Peanut Butter Toast (3 min.; SD): Paul Rust improvises a painful, painful, painful musical number about...yeah, peanut butter toast. Mommy, make the bad man stop!

  • In Character with... (6 min.; SD): Paul Rust and Hayden Panettiere each score their own promotional interviews with the Fox Movie Channel. Rust gabs about approaching a high schooler ten years after the fact, settling into his first big role in a feature film, the physicality of the part, and trying to dial back the kinda grating character from the novel. Panettiere, meanwhile, touches on Beth's insecurities and explains why exactly she isn't all that keen on rehearsing.

  • Trailers (HD): I Love You, Beth Cooper opens with a barrage of high-def trailers, and a smaller, different stack is served up with the rest of the extras. For whatever reason, a Beth Cooper trailer hasn't been piled on here, though.

The Final Word
Ack. No. Skip It.

I Took More Screengrabs, So I Guess I Might As Well Use 'Em
Find the lowest price for 'I Love You, Beth Cooper (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. The Front Page
2. Fatso
3. Midnight Lace
4. Murder!
5. A Blonde In Love
6. Missing Link Blu-ray
7. 4D Man
8. Thunder Bay
9. Alita: Battle Angel
10. Swing Time

Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use