|March 31, 1999|
|Karen McCullah Lutz|
|Buena Vista Pictures|
|Comedy, Family, Romance
Rated PG-13 For Crude Sex-Related Humor and Dialogue, Alcohol and Drug-Related Scenes
|10 Things I Hate About You
Before the likes of American Pie and National Lampoon were dumbing down teen comedies, 10 Things I Hate About You instilled the potential that those teen comedies strove for. With an ensemble cast that produced more mega-stars than almost any other teen comedy, 10 Things I Hate About You continues to grip onto relevancy over ten years later.
Heath Ledger leads the names of breakout stars nested in the cast, charming his way into the hearts of more than just the lead. 10 Things is Ledger’s Say Anything, showing his acting prowess early in his career, making a regular teen drama pop from the screen. Julia Stiles earns respect, moving from her Save The Last Dance days and becoming more relevant. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance foreshadows the success that follows in his romantic comedy roles. The sad story lies in Larisa Oleynik pretty much falls off the map following the film, for reasons unknown, as she plays the dumb blonde of this tragedy most graciously.
What makes 10 Things I Hate About You stand out is the film’s foundation on the age-old Shakespearian play The Taming Of The Shrew, where in order for the youngest daughter to marry, the eldest daughter, who is against men all together, must be married off first, by orders of their father. In order to win the hand of the younger daughter, the men contrive a master plan to marry the eldest daughter.
Though the stakes are not as high, the basic plot is. Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) and Kat (Julia Stiles) are the sisters, but in order for freshmen Bianca to date, her man-hating sister, Kat, must start dating by orders of their overprotective father. In attempt to win over Bianca, newcomer Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gets popular pretty boy Joey (Andrew Keegan) to pay Patrick (Heath Ledger) to date Kat. In the end, love conquers all… even in a topsy-turvy mish-mash of a plot such as this.
The music is comprised mainly of the band Letters to Cleo, with the actual band appearing in the film, once at a concert where Patrick goes to win over Kat and once at the prom where Patrick calls in a favor for Kat. The music epitomizes the feel of the film no matter what the setting, letting the audience feel the rush of emotion with the lyrics “even angels fall” when the prom becomes a bust and the cat is let out of the bag.
10 Things I Hate About You is made of memorable moments, ranking it at the top of the chart of all-time best teen drama-edies. No other teen flicks have the acting power, the soundtrack, or the heart that 10 Things I Hate About You delivered over a decade ago. The film feels more like the first period of your senior year at high school rather than a formal film, even showing the director‘s quirkiness in the bloopers during the trailers. All the characters are approachable and just the right mixture of natural and eccentric.