I love you, Beth Cooper (2009)

Director: Chris Columbus

Soundtrack on the Abkco Records ABK 02312, released 2009.06.23

Clip from track 9


One more tour of high school cliques, cliches and clashes in an attempt to wittily subvert the 'system' - this time by having the nerd's valedictory speech at graduation centring principally on his love for the cheerleader (a rapidly typecast Hayden Panettiere) and peripherally on the faults and frustrations of his peers. Many a fun movie has fired to success on a more slendour plot device, but I Love You, Beth Cooper doesn't quite ignite because most 'comic' situations are both derivative and somewhat flatly directed. It just ticks on with occasional chuckles to a predictable end. (P.S. Paul Rust looks his age.)


Christophe Beck has built a reputation over the past 10 years for creating gentle, calming, accessible, human scores which can drift along dreamily in the background, mixing guitar and string textures with pinprick piano melodies, but have the flexibility to shift into something more melancoly, dramatic or gently comic. Such scoring can be easily dismissed as unimpressive and interchangeable but what is appreciated by film makers is that the style enhances rather than distracts from the onscreen action. It is subtle. Also, despite his use of guitars, the general style, while feeling contemporary, has little pop-specific styling, rendering it less likely to age badly or clash with the inevitable song tie-ins.

As with most teen movies, Beth Cooper sides heavily with its pop credentials, predictably mixing the hip with the cheesey. Where this film differs from others of its ilk is that unfortunately the score gets hardly any chance to shine. A surprising number of scenes are played without underscore, which might not have been so noticeable had Chris Beck not unleashed a marvelously swashbuckling cue for the 'wet towel/fencing' highlight. This music features in the soundtrack CD, as part of a short suite (track 9), the best of three tracks by the composer and well worth the price of a download. The 8'33" of music on this disc does not quite make it worth the purchase on its own, but it not only summarises the score, it might actually account for most of it too, so it is a shame that tracks 5 and 12 are not individual enough to warrant more than a quick listen. Track 9, however, opens with a beautifully understated setting of the main theme followed by the full orchestra swashbuckler (minor key inflections, scurrying strings, cymbals, trimphant brass, etc.), giving the film a sense of breadth and excitement it doesn't rightly deserve. It is difficult to recommend the disc, however, in competition with recent more generous discs and innovative scoring.


1. Forget Me - Violet Columbus (2'51")
2. Try It Again - The Hives (3'31")
3. Come Out Of The Shade - The Perishers (4'00")
4. Sway - The Kooks (3'36")
5. Last Kiss - Christophe Beck (2'46")
6. Catch Me If You Can - Gym Class Heroes (5'09")
7. Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast - Airbourne (3'44")
8. A Good Idea At The Time - Ok Go (3'13")
9. Beth Cooper Suite - Christophe Beck (4'43")
10. Beth - Kiss (2'48")
11. Cruisin' - Smokey Robinson (5'57")
12. Who Knew? - Christophe Beck (1'08")
13. Feels Like The First Time - Foreigner (3'52")
14. School's Out - Alice Cooper (3'31")
15. Forget Me - Eleni Mandell (3'14")


Christophe Beck credit for I love you, Beth Cooper


Music editor - Mark Jan Wlodarkiewicz
Score recorded and mixed by - Casey Stone
Additional score recording by Steve Kaplan
Score coordinator - Jake Monaco

'Forget me'
Written by Eleni Mandell
Performed by Violet Columbus
Produced by Rob Cavallo
Written by Gary James Kemp
Performed by Lazlo Bane
'Star in the making'
Written by Brian Lapin, Terence Yoshiaki, Mike Fratantuno, Josef Lord
Performed by Transcenders featuring J7 D'Star
Courtesy of Transcenders, LLC
'Too much, too young, too fast'
Written by Joel O'Keeffe and Vick Wright
Performed by Airbourne
Courtesy of Capitol Records / Roadrunner Records / EMI Music Australia PTY Limited
'The battle, the fuel, the victory
Written by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment
'Lady Luck'
Written by Mike Fratantuno, Terence Yoshiaki and Brian Lapin
Performed by Transcenders
Courtesy of Transcenders, LLC
'New Wave'
Written by Thomas James Gabel
Performed by Against Me!
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
'Ride of the Valkyries'
Written by Richard Wagner
Courtesy of Extreme Music
'Feels like the first time'
Written by Michael Jones
Performed by Foreigner
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
'School's out'
Written by Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Alice Cooper and Neal A. Smith
Performed by Alice Cooper
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
'Heavenly view'
Written and performed by Rebecca Borel Gray
Courtesy of Reserve Music, Gene Michael Productions
'Starting all over again'
Written by Sydney Dale
Courtesy of Opus 1 Music
Written by Stanley Penridge, Bob Ezrin, and Peter Criss
Performed by Kiss
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Written by Luke Pritchard
Performed by The Kooks
Courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd. / Astralwerks
'Try it again'
Written by Randy Fitzsimmons
Performed by The Hives
Courtesy of Interscope Records
'Shut up and let me go'
Written by Katie White and Julian De Martino
Performed by Ting Tings
Courtesy of Columbia Records and Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd.
'Catch me if you can'
Written by Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo, Travis McCoy, Matthew McGinley, Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz
Performed by Gym Class Heroes
Courtesy of Fueled by Ramen Decaydance / Atlantic Recording Corp.
'Let it rock'
Written by Dwayne Carter and Kevin Rudolf
Performed by Kevin Rudolf, feat. Lil'Wayne
Courtesy of Cash Money Records / Universal Records
'A good idea at the time'
Written by Damian Kulash Jr. and Timothy Nordwind
Performed by OK Go
Courtesy of Capitol Records
'Let it be me'
Written and performed by Ray LaMontagne
Courtesy of RCA Records Label
'Come out of the shade'
Written by Ola Kluft, Martin Gustafson, Pehr Astrom and Thomas Hedlund
Performed by The Perishers
Courtesy of Nettwerk Productions
Written by William Robinson and Marvin Tarplin
Performed by Smokey Robinson
Courtesy of Motown Records
'Forget me'
Written and performed by Eleni Mandell
Courtesy of Rob Cavallo
[Film:] 'The adventure of Robin Hood'
Licensed by Warner Bros. Entertainment and Turner Entertainment Co.