My Favorite Movies #16 – 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You

1999

Directed by Gil Junger

Quick synopsis… After learning that Bianca Stratford is forbidden to date until her man-hating older sister Kat finds a beau, Bianca’s would-be boyfriend hatches a plan: pay moody school rebel Patrick Verona to escort the churlish Kat around town.

  • Did you know this movie is based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew?
  • Of course you did, they make it incredibly obvious with all the references.
  • Patrick’s last name is Verona…
  • Kat and Bianca’s last name is Stratford…
  • Kat is blatantly referred to as “the shrew…”
  • The new kid, Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the new kid at Padua High School.
  • He has a somewhat interesting encounter with the guidance counselor, Ms. Perky (Allison Janney), who is an interesting character herself.
  • Cameron then gets the 90s clique tour from Michael (David Krumholtz), a geeky kind of kid who basically becomes Cameron’s BFF.
  • He is immediately smitten when he spots Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik, AKA Alex Mack).
  • Michael warns her that the Stratford sisters are not allowed to date because they have an incredibly uptight father.
  • Next we cut to Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) in lit class, where she laments the study of Ernest Hemingway and complains about the lack of feminist writers.
  • BTW, I love the teacher, Mr. Morgan.
  • His attitude toward the students is hilarious.
  • His response to professional a-hole, Joey (Andrew Keegan), is priceless.
  • Joey is also interested in Miss Bianca, but his intentions are somewhat less pure than our hero, Cameron.
  • But he’s rich…
  • So when Cameron and Michael come up with a scheme to get Bianca available to date, they use Joey.
  • See, Bianca is only allowed to date when Kat dates.
  • And Kat hates… well… everyone.
  • So Michael manipulates Joey into paying Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to take Kat out so he can take Bianca out.
  • For a minute, this works, which kind of backfires on Cameron, since Bianca is, at first, more interested in Joey.
  • It doesn’t take long for her to see Joey for the conceited douche he is, allowing her to shift her focus to Cameron, the guy who would probably treat her like a human being instead of a piece of arm candy… or worse.
  • Kat, meanwhile, spends more and more time with Patrick.
  • He goes from doing it for the money to actually developing feelings for Kat.
  • But, it all comes to a head at the prom.
  • Joey gets pissed that Bianca shows up with Cameron, then he yells at Patrick about paying him to take out Kat only for the other guy to get the girl he wants.
  • Of course, Kat hears all this and is understandably upset with Patrick.
  • He goes after her… but it’s too late.
  • Back in lit class, she recites her sonnet about her heartbreak with Patrick, bringing her to tears.
  • Patrick, it turns out, has used all the money Joey paid him to buy her a brand new electric guitar.
  • And they lived happily ever after.
  • This really is a classic.
  • It’s nearly as quotable as Mean Girls, but just isn’t as culturally popular for some reason.
  • If you haven’t seen it, make time for it.
  • I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Coming up next week we have a Stephen King adaptation, but it won’t be the last of his adapted works on this list. Don’t worry, it’s not scary. It’s more about hope than it is about fear. Any guesses?

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