We all need to at least half-salute the people who cut the trailer for I Love You, Beth Cooper (20th Century Fox, 7.10) because (a) they make it seem like a grotesquely unfunny, off-the-charts high-school relationship farce and (b) to judge from the reviews so far the movie pretty much is that, so in a way they’re doing people a favor by not concealing anything. They’re saying, “Do you like comedies that are aimed at dumb beasts ? Do you want to be tortured? Do you want to experience the sensation of life itself draining out of you? Then you definitely want to catch Beth Cooper.”
The review quotes so far are so bad they’re thrilling. “If watching this makes you want to be young again you probably grew up in an Algerian prison.” — IE’s Amy Nicholson. “Usually the quality gap between okay and movie isn’t the size of Texas.” — Matt Pais, Metromix. “Did erstwhile John Hughes protege and Harry Potter progenitor Chris Columbus fall behind on his payments on a sub-prime mortgage? Even if so, I’m not sure it fully excuses this joyless, offensively stupid end-of-high-school farce, which is about as funny as a hit-and-run.” — Scott Foundas, Village Voice.
Why does I Love You, Beth Cooper currently have a 34% positive Metacritic rating instead of a seemingly more fitting zero rating, which is what it has right now on Rotten Tomatoes? Because Entertainment Weekly‘s Lisa Schwarzbaum gave it a B plus.
My original trailer take was that it “suggests that the film is coarse and vulgar and way overcranked. A ludicrous teenaged horndog wish-fulfillment plot, gross stupidity, a hissing raccoon, insanely overdone foley effects, every cliche out of the tits-and-zits high-school handbook. Truly repellent. An unfortunate comedown for Chris Columbus, whom I was starting to learn to like after the invigorating Rent. The screenplay is by Larry Doyle, based on his book. I mean, I wanted to throw up.”