I Love You, Beth Cooper

The high-school romantic comedy I Love You, Beth Cooper, directed by Chris Columbus, has a screenplay by Larry Doyle, who adapted his novel, and it sounds like the person or people who assembled the soundtrack album of pop songs (Patrick Houlihan is credited as music supervisor) wanted to split the difference between tracks that a high-school student of 2009 actually might be listening to and songs that Doyle, who graduated from high school in 1976, was listening to around then. Actually, this doesn't work out as badly as it might seem, perhaps because of the choices, perhaps because basic rock & roll music hasn't really changed that much in 30-plus years. For example, Australian band Airbourne's "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast" is a sound-alike for any number of songs by an Australian predecessor, AC/DC. Then, too, the old songs are sequenced toward the end, separated from the newer, earlier tracks by some of Christophe Beck's scoring. Beck's main suite uses music that sounds like it belongs in one of Columbus' more adventurous pictures, one of his Harry Potter epics, say. Also adding diversity is the acoustic performance of Eleni Mandell's "Forget Me" up front, performed here and in the film by 15-year-old Violet Columbus, who just happens to have the same last name as the director. It introduces a Juno-like tone that thankfully is not carried through on the rest of the album. Mandell's own rock version closes things out. ~ William Ruhlmann

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