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I Love You, Beth Cooper

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Joe Lederer

Starring: Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Lauren London
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Release date: July 10

Based on the best-selling 2007 novel by Larry Doyle (The Simpsons), Cooper follows a sad-sack valedictorian (Semi-Pro‘s Rust) who reveals his true feelings for the titular cheerleader (Heroes‘ Panettiere) at graduation and then embarks on a long night of postgrad partying with her. For Columbus, the film marks a return to the teen-comedy genre he left for dramas (Stepmom) and big-budget spectacles such as the first two Harry Potter adaptations. ”I thought about Adventures in Babysitting and about how much fun I had making that film,” says Columbus of his 1987 directorial debut. ”Over the years, so many people have told me how that movie meant a lot to them growing up.” Doyle acknowledges that his plot may sound familiar. ”The story is about the cheerleader and the nerd — I’m not going to pretend like it’s never been done,” he admits. ”Although specific things change, you can go back 100 years and find teenagers doing the same things. Kids doing crazy s— in cars just never goes away.”