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Review: I Love You, Beth Cooper

A special brand of teen pain
By ALICIA POTTER  |  July 8, 2009
1.0 1.0 Stars

 

Hayden Panettiere provokes many emotions as the title object of desire in Chris Columbus's dreadful teen romance. Love is not one of them. Puppet-necked nerd Denis Cooverman (Paul Rust) declares his devotion to the unattainable cheerleader during his valedictory speech and sets off an improbable yet predictable chain of events. All the stereotypes — the possibly gay film-geek best friend (Jack Carpenter), the Popeye-armed homicidal rival (Shawn Roberts), the ditsy sidekicks (Lauren Storm, Lauren London) — convene for a "life-changing" night in which Denis discovers who the "real" Beth Cooper is. Turns out she's a shrieking, reckless, vapid cipher of low esteem — and, as played by Panettiere with smirks and misty eyes, a parody of female vulnerability. Meanwhile, as the first boner, Star Wars reference, car sing-along, and towel drop commence on cue, this dud inflicts its own special brand of teen pain.

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