Eric Recommends: ‘I Love You, Beth Cooper’

“I Love You, Beth Cooper,” by former “Simpsons” writer Larry Doyle, is a loving homage to the cheesy teen comedies of the 1980s, albeit set in the present and a book instead of a movie. (It is being made into a movie, though.) Denis Cooverman is a nerdy high school valedictorian who blurts out the title declaration during his graduation speech. The problem: Beth Cooper is the most popular girl in school, and she barely knows who Denis Cooverman is. The book covers the events of graduation night as Denis and his movie-geek best friend Rich interact with Beth, her friends, her angry coke-head boyfriend, and various other classmates. The details of the story are implausible, and some of the jokes are sitcom-ish. But I laughed out loud many, many times while I read the book, particularly in response to Doyle’s droll descriptions of high school angst and the absurdity of the teenage caste system. It is not high literature, but it is definitely funny.