I hate that English teachers don't use this movie as a catalyst to fire people up about Shakespeare.
In this day and age, to enjoy a movie set in an American high school there a certain elements that you begrudgingly come to expect. You must make peace with the unoriginality, and only then can you see what else it has to offer. That is the case with 10 Things I Hate About You, and what it has to offer is spectacular acting and an ability to poke fun at itself. Besides can you really ever go wrong with Shakespeare??
Yep, that's right. 10 Things is (very loosely) based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. Kat is even tapped to write a Shakespearean sonnet as a school assignment... go figure.
I hate the way you talk to me,
and the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you drive my car.
I hate it when you stare.
I hate your big dumb combat boots,
and the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much it makes me sick.
It even makes me rhyme.
I hate the way you're always right.
I hate it when you lie.
I hate it when you make me laugh,
even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you're not around,
and the fact that you didn't call.
But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you.
Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.
The girl clearly has a future as a poet, no? Julia Stiles does a remarkable job going from the girl who will kick your ass for a stray look to a girl who will admit she still has feelings for a guy that did her wrong. Her lines are delivered flawlessly and she gives attitude to match whatever the scene calls for. This role could have easily been the downfall of the movie as she has to be believable as a hardened bad ass, convincingly play hurt and betrayed and finally let her guard down to warn her sister about the sinister blowhard Joey Donner. It was all there and all pulled off with incredible fineness. Her backing into Joey's car is my favorite scene, and afterwards he actually refers to her as a shrew.
Her love interest, played by the late Heath Ledger, was fairly well done. Patrick hit all the right leading-man-in-a-teenaged-romantic-comedy notes. Bad boy with a heart of gold? Check. Embarrassing and grandiose display of public affection? Check. Carefree scene of romantic flirting where one or both characters get dirty? Check, and paintball makes for some very colorful dirt! He was likable and beautiful and stood up quite nicely next to Kat's wit as well as being an almost mentor to Cameron.
Bianca is Kat's sister and Larisa Olenik plays her amazingly well. She is materialistic, air-headed and hilarious. She pulls out some brain power when it really counts, but all of her best moments for me came from her utter cluelessness. She made me laugh out loud throughout the whole movie.
Cameron wore many hats. He is head-over-heels in puppy love for Bianca, the nice guy, the new kid in school and the audiences eyes and ears. We learn with him the whose who of Padua High and the happenings of our characters and his new BFF Michael is our tour director. Like Bianca, Cameron is a little too naive for his own good and Joseph Gordon-Levitt sparkles on screen in every scene he is in. When he is vulnerable I want to give him a hug, when he stands up for or to Bianca I cheer him on, and if this nice guy had finished last I might have thrown something at the television.
Quotes/Shrewy bits and pieces
10 Things I Hate About You sounds a lot like Taming of the Shrew.
Bianca: "There's a difference between like and love. See, I like my sketchers, but I love my Prada backpack."
Chastity: "But I love my sketchers."
Bianca: "That's because you don't have a Prada backpack."
This right here is a solid life lesson, folks!
Chastity: "I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?"
Bianca: "I think you can in Europe."
Ms. Perky: "People perceive you as somewhat..."
Ms. Perky: "'Heinous bitch' is the term used most often."
Cameron: "I burn. I pine. I perish."
This is a direct quote from Taming of the Shrew.
Walter Stratford: "Hello, Katarina. Make anyone cry today?"
Kat: "Sadly, no, but it's only 4:30."
Cameron: "She kissed me."
Cameron: "In the car."
Michael: "The shit hath hitith the fan... ith."
Walter Stratford: "Alright, wait a minute. No drinking, no drugs, no kissing, no tattoos, no piercings, no ritual animal slaughters of any kind. Oh, God, I'm giving them ideas."
Cameron: "You know just because you're beautiful, doesn't mean you can treat people like they don't matter."
Kat: "You don't always have to be who they want you to be, you know."
There are so many quotable quotes. This post would be much too long, so I will cut it off here. Let me know below if I didn't include your favorite!
RIP Mr. Ledger