10 Things I Hate About You…

10_Things_I_Hate_About_You_film.jpg 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) is already (!!!wow, can’t believe it!!!) 20 years old yet it never feels that way…I still enjoy watching it as much as I did when it came out.

First things first, the plot: Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) transfers to Padua high where he is smitten on first sight with Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik). Telling his new friendĀ Michael (David Krumholtz) that he would like nothing more to date Bianca he finds out that she isn’t allowed to date. This due to strict dad-rules which unexpectedly change: Bianca has a sister Katarina ‘Kat’ (Julia Stiles) who everyone deems scary, anti-social, ant-establishment etc. So, “knowing” that nobody would ever think of even approaching Kat, dad allows Bianca to date if Kat does. And the challenge is on! Find a guy crazy enough to date Kat so that Bianca can do so. Enter Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) the guy who has supposedly eaten a live duck, done time, donated his liver etc..

Based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, you know you’re in for a good one when a character is introduced accompanied by Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation. And that’s the refreshing part…Kat doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her and she is who she is, having “swore I wouldn’t do anything just because everyone else was doing it”. The reasons become clear during the movie but I really think this is such a valid point. As is Patrick’s comment to Cameron of “don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want”. So there you have it…the guy who uses his flip knife in science to dissect a frog isn’t all that bad. Oh, and he even buys her a Fender guitar instead of flowers and chocolates to apologise for messing up:

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I never tire of watching this one. While it may be predictable, it is still a pleasure watching the characters fall in love. Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger have really good chemistry together and at the same time are convincing in their outward “mean and scary” demeanor yet showing their underlying true personalities in just the right quantities at the right time. But it isn’t just these two. Even Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Krumholtz, Larisa Oleynik and Andrew Keegan (who plays stud Joey Donner) gel well together with their respective characters being absolutely believable. The magnitude of teen high-school problems and dilemmas come across perfectly.

So, if you haven’t seen this one yet, go give it a go. It really is worth the watch. And, after that, you could even give the series a go. I thoroughly enjoy it too (watching episodes here and there when the mood strikes) and it is a pity that it never got past the first season.

Head on over to Pop Culture Reverie and In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood for some more entries into this It’s a Young World Teen Movie Blogathon. And finally…enjoy the week ahead.rebelbanner

 

 

Girl Week: Kat Stratford (10 Things I Hate About You (1999))

girlweek10thingsThe third girl (I hope you also feel she’s the main protagonist here) to have a go for Girl Week is Kat Stratford. The shrew of Padua High School.

Briefly, the story is that newbie in school Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wants to date popular Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) BUT, she is only allowed to date if her unpopular sister Kat (Julia Stiles) dates. And that’s the tricky part. Kat does NOT date, she does NOT go to prom, she does NOT conform. So starts the task of hiring Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) the school’s very bad boy (you should hear all the things he’s been thought to have done) to take Kat to the prom. With such a tough sister, only the toughest guy is brave enough. As with most of these movies, I’m sure you know what the ending is – but, I like this version. And, I like Kat – she has so much oomph.

She’s independent, doesn’t conform to peer pressure and definitely doesn’t do something just because it is expected of her. But, she she does actually have a nice, soft side and deep down is still like most teens her age, she just doesn’t show it outwardly. And for good reason. Believe it or not, she too was once like all the stereotypical teenagers at Padua High wanting the hot guy. Only, things didn’t go quite as planned, hence she’s learnt her lesson.

I enjoy watching Julia Stiles in the right role and for me, she works as Kat. So, while this is a “teen” movie, it is one of those that I don’t mind watching again and again when the mood strikes. Even the spin-off series works well. Although, you just need to adjust your mind from Julia Stiles to Lindsey Shaw and from Heath Ledger to Ethan Peck. But they work just as well.

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