Directed By: Chris Columbus
Written By: Larry Doyle (Based Upon his novel)
Cinematography: Phil Abraham
Editor: Peter Honess
Cast: Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack Carpenter, Lauren London, Lauren Storm, Shawn Roberts, Jared Kesso, Brendan Penny, Alan Ruck, Pat Finn, Andrea Savage, Samm Levine
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 really loved the book this film is based on as it truly felt like a zany romantic comedy. While Playing in the expectations of a 1980’s style teen comedy. Yet had heart and twisted those expectations for the better. Still remaining identifiable and had just the right amount of Comedy, love, sex, and romance with a downbeat yet realistic ending.
I believe I feel so sharply and savagely about the film that it is my favorite coming-of-age romantic comedy and comes from a long line of films about getting to know your dream girl cinema. Where usually she never measures up to your expectations and the cute girl who was your friend is truly the one you were looking for or she Falls in love with you and you end up happily ever after. But this story also reminds us we have been there. When a crush is so overpowering that you fall For the idea of someone and not the actual person.
Maybe I am taking the failure of quality when it comes to this film a little personally. Considering how much of a fan I was of the book. This was the film that made me really become worried when a book adaptation was made of a book I enjoyed. Even when it seemed like it was in capable hands.
This coming from a man who read THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES novel adaptation before the movie, because the movie kept being sold out in its first week of release. While I eventually Loved the movie the adaptation for me was so much better and rich
Not only was this film a big disappointment compared to the book. It would be even if you haven’t read the book.
What was worse is how far it felt like Chris Columbus had fallen either not getting the material or being that far removed from it that he tried so hard with something he doesn’t seem to understand by making it far too general. What might have once been special feels generic. Maybe he was burned out from the HARRY POTTER films he helped produce and decided to Ames this project too quickly as the return to directing or was playing by 1980’s MTV teen movie rules in a more modern age and no one updated him about cultural and stylish change.
Is that this movie was made by writer/director Chris Columbus who is talented and is behind many teen and children’s movies before such as directing some and producing the Harry Potter series of films. Here he seems to have lost his touch or showing his age. As he would seem Like a Perfect choice for the material especially after returning to directing after a brief absence. Here he seems out of place.
Not to mention though the cast is likable they most ultimately feel miscast and instead of playing characters. Play more character types or fill in’s who never get to have a real personality.
The film is a mess as lead Paul Rust who fits the nerdy look but is so obviously too old to play the role. Which makes him look more like a child molester than a romantic leading man.
The casting of Hayden Panettiere as the female lead is understandable. As she was a hot commodity at the time on a hit show. So this was her stab at being a big-screen movie star. She is good as the lead. As she is plucky yet she is supposed to be so memorable and her character isn’t. Especially not for the lead to go through all this trouble. As they live in a small town and while she is cute. Never see the World Class beauty she supposedly has. She comes across more as temptation or a more Willing femme fatale.
Her friends in the film don’t exactly help. Casting Lauren London who could have played the lead more convincingly. As she has more a
World-class beauty and here is relegated to second fiddle with little to do or add to the story. Along with Lauren Storm, who is Just thick, and his best friend who gets the fantasy sex scene to become A Reality. Though comes off lame.
Just like the casting of Hayden Panettiere the film tries too hard to fit in and be all things to all people and instead makes itself unhip and show that this is an older crowd either trying to influence youth or trying to fit in.
The story is about expectations versus reality. The movie comes off more like a zany comedy where nothing feels honest or direct. It has a harsh ending where reality sets in. In the book, it feels more cruel yet just fine. Making home realize he has to put away childish things on the path to adulthood.
In the film, she seems just dropped and feels like an ending of hope while also getting a version of what he wants. Though lacking a kissing scene as if they did. It might look like a promotion of pedophilia.
One aspect that is truly surprising other than the casting. Whereas every character doesn’t Look like a model so it does feel and look more like regular small-town folks.
The film looks washed out. Like they are trying to make the Midwest surroundings dull. So you can see why some can’t wait to escape this town and for some, it’s a forever
The worst crime the film makes is that it took a book of some merit and made it look generic. The lowly inspired teen film made by people too old and trying too hard to be down. Who ends up faking the funk.
Not all Of this falls on Columbus’ shoulders as the novel’s writer did own the screenplay also. If this was made today it feels like it would have been a limited series.