A nerdy valedictorian proclaims his love for Beth Cooper--the hottest, most popular girl in school--during his graduation speech. That very night, she shows up at his door offering to show h... Read allA nerdy valedictorian proclaims his love for Beth Cooper--the hottest, most popular girl in school--during his graduation speech. That very night, she shows up at his door offering to show him the best night of his life.A nerdy valedictorian proclaims his love for Beth Cooper--the hottest, most popular girl in school--during his graduation speech. That very night, she shows up at his door offering to show him the best night of his life.
I Don't Love You, Beth Cooper
By my recollection this is only the second high school wide release film of the year (the other being the equally unoriginal 17 Again). Yet, despite it not being worn thin this year, the high school genre needs major help. It's a time of life that is of significance to everyone. Obviously, for some it is much more prominent than for some others. But at that time, the world seems magnified as never before. Why has no film been able to even come close to capturing that sentiment? Of course there are some that are brilliant The Last Picture Show, Dead Poet's Society, than there's ones that don't really have all that much to do with high school like Rushmore, Boyz N' the Hood, and oldies like Rebel Without A Cause and a huge collection from the 1980's with Say Anything being the strongest of the bunch, but over the course of cinematic history this genre, more than any other, has been completely butchered. The last ten years has been the worst. The main problem is that every high school film has it in their head that there is this hierarchy that simply does not exist. I don't know if it ever did, but in my life and my frequent conversations with others on the topic it has been confirmed that it doesn't. Perhaps, in the 1980's there was such division. There were these groups of nerds, jocks, losers, weirdos and, well, the "it" girls. Maybe these groups collided in the ways we still see in films, you know, swirlies, and locking freshman in lockers, and wedgies too. Jocks are always dumb. Always. Nerds are always picked on and they never ever get the girl. Ask Duckie. "It" girls are vicious, hate everyone, especially their parents and their best friend, they usually have a really bad life and that's why they hate everyone and all they want is someone to listen to them. Losers are stupid too, like jocks. Pretty much you're either stupid or a nerd getting your ass kicked. Thing is, high school is nothing like that. Valedictorians are not always nerds. They don't even always give speeches at graduation commencement – I know, what about that mandatory valedictorian speech scene. Jocks can be smart. Yes, a human can exist that is both athletic and academic. I've seen it myself. I know, they might have to reinvent the whole formula. Nerds sometimes drink alcohol other than on the last day of high school. Yeah, I know, I don't know how that required "nerdy kid" cutting loose scene is going to happen then either. Sure, they're are groups in high school. Some kids you're friends with and others you're not. Sure some kids are smart and some are good at sports but it seldomly if ever defines their entire being. Thing is, adolescents are not one-dimensional people that resemble how they're represented in the twenty year formula that Hollywood has been using, subbing in new role players as they age. The fact that nothing that happens in I Love You, Beth Cooper would ever happen in real life isn't that big of a deal if not for the fact that a good movie about the topic deserves to be made. One not at a boarding school, one that doesn't involve drug addiction, one that doesn't involve being in a gang – one that is just a simple story of what it is really like at that moment when life is changing for everyone you know. That decisions that you're too young to be making end up dictating the years of your life that you haven't really even thought out. Where's that film? It could still be funny. It could still have a beautiful actress on the poster. It would certainly make more money that I Love You, Beth Cooper will. That film doesn't exist during any moment of Beth Cooper. Nor does a plot-line you haven't seen, a character you ever met in real life nor one you haven't met in film, an original line of dialogue, or anything than justifies its existence as cinema.
E @ A Reel Perspective
E @ A Reel Perspective
- Jul 14, 2009
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