Picks and Pans Review: I Love You, Beth Cooper

updated 07/20/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/20/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust PG-13 |


On graduation day, dweeby high school valedictorian Denis Cooverman (Rust) throws caution to the wind and uses his class address to declare his love for the head cheerleader Beth Cooper (Panettiere), whom he has sat behind for six years but never spoken to. His awkward speech is the only semi-enjoyable moment in Beth Cooper, one of the worst coming-of-age comedies in years. Denis and Beth spend graduation night insufferably careening through a maelstrom of high school clich├ęs: car crashes, bullying boyfriends, wild parties, beer runs, locker-room shower scenes and radio sing-alongs. Director Chris Columbus, light years from his Home Alone heyday, seems asleep at the wheel, while Rust and Panettiere generate so little chemistry that their night together feels like an eternity. I loathe you, Beth Cooper.

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