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Film / I Love You, Beth Cooper

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I Love You, Beth Cooper is a 2009 teen comedy directed by Chris Columbus and written by Larry Doyle from his own novel, in which high school geek Denis (Paul Rust) chooses his valedictorian speech to let the titular cheerleader (Hayden Panettiere) know his feelings. Even though she's gorgeous, popular and has a psycho army boyfriend. Later that day he and his best friend, having invited her and her friends around for a party, are surprised when they turn up. This isn't the only surprise fate has in store for Denis, since Beth isn't quite the girl he visualized...


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This film includes examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Everyone is certain Rich is gay, but he insists he's straight. By the end, he says he might be bi, but it's still ambiguous because he doesn't show interest in women.
  • Beta Bitch: Valli, who steals Beth's boyfriend and becomes the Alpha.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Beth, when she uses her Drives Like Crazy tendencies for good by driving an SUV through a wall of her psycho boyfriend's house to rescue Denis from getting beaten into paste by the guy.
  • Bully Turned Buddy: Denis confesses his love for the popular cheerleader in his graduating speech, as well as insulting all the people he never liked — including the school bully, who Denis claims that he was probably neglected or sexually abused by his parents as a child, which is why the bully has rage issues. Luckily, when Denis is chased by Beth's angry boyfriend (another victim of Denis' speech) much later, the bully admits that Denis was right, apologizes for the stress and trouble he's caused everyone over the years, and doesn't hesitate to try and beat up the angry boyfriend while Denis and his friends try and escape. It is implied that they are on close terms after the events of the film.
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  • Cow Tipping: Rich, Cammy, and Treece come across a field of cows while drunk and decide to tip one of them. All three of them pushing together on the cow does not do anything other than starting a stampede that chases them out of the field.
    Cammy: Cows!
    Treece: Let's tip one.
    Rich: What, isn't that like an urban legend?
  • Drives Like Crazy: Beth. Richie took driving class with her and flashes back to her doing pretty poorly then, and in the present day she has passengers clinging to their seats and causes some damage while coming to a stop more than once.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: How Beth manages to persuade the convenience store owner to let Denis buy some beer despite his looking underage (in-universe, anyway).
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Beth is popular and initially only bothers to return Denis's interest out of amusement, but overall gets a positive portrayal.
  • Male Gaze:
    • When Denis falls head first into Beth's lap, he looks up her skirt and we see a POV shot of her panties.
    • Toward the end, Beth's two girl friends try to prove Rich is gay by doing something that would turn on any straight boy: licking a phallic pastry. The scene is shot to turn on the male viewers, of course.
  • The Movie Buff: Rich, who constantly references all sorts of movies and thinks that everyone else is referencing them too even though they've just learned cliches through Pop-Cultural Osmosis.
  • Pom-Pom Girl: Beth Cooper and her friends are energetic cheerleaders who like picking people up even outside of sporting events and competitions.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Denis gives one to everyone in the senior class except Beth, including his best friend during his valedictorian speech.
  • Secret Other Family: Implied, Treece takes everyone to her father's cabin, which she comments he made her promise not to tell her mom about and finds a World's Greatest Dad mug there which she comments that she didn't give to him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rich quotes a ton of movies
    • Denis has a Star Wars poster. In the alternate ending, the character posing imitates the poster.
  • Stalking Is Love: Played with for laughs. Denis stalks Beth, who gets freaked out, but she ultimately appreciates his love.


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