10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

One of my favourite films ever, the best romcom, ‘10 Things I Hate About You’. The film is predominantly based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’; it’s obviously not a direct interpretation, but there are some relations to the play, no matter how small the connections are. For example, the girl that is “involved” with William Shakespeare, ie. she’s obsessed with him; or maybe the one liner that is actually Shakespearean. This doesn’t absorb the film however, it still carries its own weight.

The plot is based around two sisters, and their rivalry. To say they are opposites would be an understatement. The eldest is Kat (Julia Stiles), the girl with the “bad reputation”, who doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her, she’s “the shrew”, just in a state of “annoyed”. Then there’s the younger sister, Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), who loves all the attention, the stereotypical dumb girl, the one who is out of bounds for all of the guys who fancy her.

Kat and Bianca

With an “uptight” father (Larry Miller), the Stratford sisters aren’t allowed to date, but right at the beginning of the film, he changes the rules. Bianca is allowed to date, if Kat does. Kat being the girl who has no intention of dating or even looking at any of the “unwashed miscreants” that go to their school. This brings in the guys. Firstly, the new boy, Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who declares his passionate love for Bianca the moment he sees her.

Bianca and Cameron

When Cameron discovers the rule he takes it upon himself to find Kat a date in order to date Bianca. His plan is to use a “backer”, well someone “rich and stupid” in order to pay a guy to date Kat. The payer is Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), the ‘popular’ guy, well the one all the girls want to date, however his mission is to get Bianca because he can’t have her. This then creates a competition between Joey and Cameron to get the girl, but who wins? Cameron finds who he thinks as the perfect guy for Kat, Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). Also known as the guy who everyone is afraid of, the rumoured criminal, the tough bad boy. So basically, Joey pays Patrick to take out Kat, Joey’s intention of taking out Bianca, but Cameron pulling the strings in the background, hoping to get Bianca. The only problem is that Kat has no intent in dating and she has no issue at portraying these feelings, especially towards Patrick.

Kat and Patrick

The film is based at Padua High School, so it is predominantly a teen movie based in school. So for example, there is the use of cliques around the school, but in this film it’s not the cliques that is the issue. I would say that ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ is probably best for teenagers or young adults as there is quite a bit of swearing in the film and also some references to sex.

There’s obviously the aspect of a romantic film, my favourite between Kat and Patrick, even if there is hate; but also, I do find this film quite comical. There are cute moments that make your heart melt but also funny moments; however, don’t think it’s a film that has you non-stop laughing, there are just moments, and those moments make the film better. For example, Kat’s sarcastic, mean comments are hilarious and cleverly created. Or perhaps, the strange headteacher that has everyone thinking, did she actually just say that…

Due to the variety of the characters in ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ there will be one that everyone loves. Personally, my favourite is definitely Patrick, the bad boy demeanour, but turns out to be the loveable, caring character. Or there’s Cameron, the opposite to Patrick, the innocent and defensive of the girl he loves. But both have that fight that they will get their girl, but will they? Not much can go wrong. Except Patrick was paid to date Kat… And Bianca likes Joey… I definitely recommend to watch ‘10 Things I Hate About You’; that’s if you love a romcom, if so, you wouldn’t hate it.


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