Larry Doyle

I Love You Beth Cooper

The hilarious first novel from Simpsons writer Larry Doyle — and soon to be a major flim directed by Chris Columbus and starring Hayden Panettiere.
Denis Cooverman wanted to say something really important in his high school graduation speech. So, in front of his 512 classmates and their 3,000 relatives, he announced: 'I love you, Beth Cooper.'
It should have been such a sweet, romantic moment. Except that Beth, the head cheerleader, has only the vaguest idea who Denis is. And Denis, the captain of the debate team, is so not in her league that he is barely even of the same species. And then there's Kevin, Beth's remarkably large boyfriend, who's in town on leave from the US Army. Complications ensue…
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    “Thank you, Dr. Henneman. Fellow Graduates. Parents and Caregivers. Other interested parties.”
    Denis had left a pause for laughs. It became just a pause.
    “Today we look forward,” he continued. “Look forward to getting out of here.”
    That got a laugh, longer than Denis had rehearsed.
    “Look forward to getting out of here,” Denis repeated, resetting his meter before proceeding in the stilted manner of adolescent public speakers throughout history.
    “But today I also would like to look back, back on our four years at Buffalo Grove High School, looking back not with anger, but with no regrets. No regrets for what we wanted to do but did not, for what we wanted to say but could not. And so I say here today the one thing I wish I had said, the one thing I know I will regret if I never say.”
    Denis paused for dramatic effect. Somebody coughed. Denis extended the pause to rebuild his dramatic effect.
    He blinked the sweat off his eyelashes.
    Then he said:
    “I love you, Beth Cooper.”

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