Revenge of the Nerd 

Heroes Cheerleader Plays Another Cheerleader!


"First off, I want to thank everyone for coming out today to hear my graduation speech. As you know, I'm the class valedictorian, which is a Latin word that means 'pale, awkward virgin.' Over the last four years, I've channeled my sexual frustration into high grades and extracurricular activities—but I have to admit, what I really want is to get it on with a cheerleader! I love you, Beth Cooper!"

That's more or less the entire setup for I Love You, Beth Cooper, in which the pale, awkward Denis (Paul Rust) pines after Beth Cooper (Hayden Panettiere). Once Denis professes his love for Beth, his high school hurdle has been jumped: By Beth Cooper's second scene, you know everything you need to know about Denis, and everything that you're ever going to know about him, so all that's left for this grating nerd to do is have "typical high school experiences" that include—as previously seen in every movie ever—dick jokes, gross-out jokes, a house party, and nerds getting revenge.

On the upside, Heroes' Hayden Panettiere does inject some personality into the lusted-after Beth Cooper—but on the downside, she completely overpowers Paul Rust's Denis, who just feels like a combination of Screech and Anthony Michael Hall, minus any charm. There are also bits of promise in Beth Cooper's more interesting side characters—Beth's two sidekicks, especially the buxom, absent-minded one, have great deliveries—but again, they're overshadowed by crappiness, in this case Denis' best friend (Jack T. Carpenter), who's supposedly closeted. (Enter an angering subplot in which everyone encourages him to come out, naturally while invoking the gamut of gay stereotypes). Sorry, Class of 2009, but as of right now, it appears your story is best told by transforming robots.

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I Love You, Beth Cooper
Rated PG-13 · 102 min. · 2009
Official Site:
Director: Chris Columbus
Writer: Larry Doyle
Producer: Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe and Michael Barnathan
Cast: Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack Carpenter, Lauren London, Andrea Savage, Samm Levine, Alan Ruck, Lauren Storm, Cynthia Stevenson and Shawn Roberts


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