Advertisements

’10 Things I Hate About You’ Just Turned 20, and I Feel Old

10 Things I Hate About You

The 90’s were host to all these great teen movies, like Cruel Intentions, Can’t Hardly Wait and of course, 10 Things I Hate About You. The script is funny and the cast really pull it together to make the entire movie work. It makes sense since that most of them went on to become big names in the industry. I always appreciate modern adaptations of Shakespeare, and look forward to how they will spin its context. As a lit major, it is an added bonus for me when these adaptations show how contemporary Shakespeare’s plays are, and the longevity it creates for works of the Bard.

Grand Romantic Gestures

Image result for 10 things i hate about you

Image via Bustle

When re-watching the movie for this post, I noticed how prevalent grand romantic gestures are in this movie. It probably contributed to all these prom-proposals we see today. I like that it is a mutual thing between the two leads, where Patrick (Heath Ledger) starts it off with the very public performance of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, and Kat (Julia Stiles) ends it with her public reading of her sonnet which is titled “10 Things I Hate About You”.

Related image

These are striking moments, because Patrick is willing to lose his tough guy persona and Kat is willing to stake her pride — something she has been holding on so tightly to the entire movie. I was taken aback by the tears Stiles had flowing down her face, and I was not surprised to learn that the crying was unscripted. It makes sense after I discovered Ledger and Stiles were dating after the movie. It feels like Stiles was speaking from a very personal space, and leveraging emotionally on a connection she shared with Ledger — it seems too real to be acting.

Fantastic Supporting Cast

Image result for 10 things i hate about you

Image via ew.com

How adorable was a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt? When he says, “I pine, I burn, I perish” (which are actual lines from Shakespeare), instead of the lines coming off as corny mush, they feel super sweet and heartfelt. The French speaking scene between Gordon-Levitt (Cameron) and Larisa Oleynik (Bianca) is so entertaining and a fun kind of flirty. It’s so cute how flustered he gets flipping through the pages because he can’t understand, though in real life Gordon-Levitt can speak fluent French.

David Krumholtz (Michael) has for some reason been stuck playing nerd/smart guy his entire career. Here he plays a nerd, in the TV show Numbers he is some math probability genius and recently, when I was watching the TV show Mom, he makes an appearance as a Psychology Professor. Give the poor man some other role to play! He is, however, very good at what he has been typecast to do. The bromance that develops between his character and Gordon-Levitt’s is natural and supportive. Michael helps the new kid get the girl despite not knowing him very long, at no benefit to himself. Now that’s what I call friendship.

Even minor characters like Allison Janney’s Miss Perky (a guidance counselor who writes erotic fiction), and Daryl Mitchell’s Mr. Morgan (who really is the kind of teacher we all want) have stand-out moments that left me laughing and gasping for air (in a good way, not like an impending asthma attack).

Advertisements

Sisterhood and Friendship

Related image

Image via Bustle

On the surface the relationship between Kat and Bianca might appear combative, since Bianca feels her sister gets in the way of what she wants. Kat’s anti-social behavior has a reason, where she slept with Joey because it was the norm to have sex — she did it because that’s what everyone else was doing. In reality, she was far from ready. In her own way, she is protecting her sister yet also wanting her to discover on her own terms what Joey is really like.

Even though going to the prom is contrary to what Kat wants to do, she goes so her sister can experience what prom is like. I like how at the end, they make amends and we end the movie with the two feeling settled in their relationship.

I must say that I wasn’t very fond of Gabrielle Union‘s character as the bitchy best friend. It seems she is just friends with Bianca for her popularity, swinging in to be Joey’s date for no reason except his popularity — I guess maybe because he is hot (he isn’t quite my type). Her character is the most underdeveloped of the lot, which is a shame since all the other supporting characters get a better story.

The Role of the Father

Related image

Image via Twitter

I feel this is one of the rare teen movies with the father role so fleshed out (of course there’s the more recent Eight Grade which does this quite well). There is comedy to it, yet at the heart is the realization of the difficulty a father faces when raising girls/women. The father here is worried that a night of folly could lead to an unwanted pregnancy, especially since he sees the outcome of this in his job as a gynecologist.

There is also the awareness that protecting and shielding is just not sustainable. Eventually they grow up, leave home to go to college, have romantic relationships — mistakes are inevitable and sometimes necessary. In the end he lets go when he supports Kat’s desire to go to Sarah Lawrence College, and he is less of a guard dog with Bianca as she gets to date Cameron.

So you see, 10 Things I Hate About You has everything — romance, friendship, sisterhood, family. It is such a gem of a movie, even though it gave me unrealistic expectations of high school. I never found my own Patrick Verona who would sing and dance for me in the bleachers, but I did find someone who would go searching to buy me bubble gum just because I wanted it — it is one of the things I love about him.


Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on 10 Things I Hate About You? Comment down below!

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to MovieBabble via email to stay up to date on the latest content.

Join MovieBabble on Patreon so that new content will always be possible.

What movie topic should I discuss next? Whether it be old or new, the choice is up to you!

Advertisements

Natasha Alvar

Natasha is an English Literature teacher. She believes that stories are the essence of being human, and loves sharing this world with her students. One day, she hopes to break into the literary world with an offering of her own, but for now, she finds enjoyment in writing plays for her students as well as penning content for Moviebabble. You can follow her @litmysoul on Instagram, if you want.

14 Responses

  1. Excuse me while I go ugly cry for a second.

  2. Ah, the late great Heath Ledger, such a shame…

  3. cafebedouin says:

    Just wait until the posts about “Dope” turning 20 years old in 2035, and how it makes some young person feel old…

  4. Nick Kush says:

    Join the MovieBabble staff: https://moviebabble971852905.wpcomstaging.com/join-moviebabble/

    Like MovieBabble on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/moviebabblereviews/

    Follow MovieBabble on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moviebabble/

    Follow MovieBabble on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MovieBabble_

  5. Be Wholly says:

    Can’t hardly wait was one of my favorites!

    • Mine too! Ethan Embry was such a crush of mine growing up. I like the whole premise of fate vs choice that is layered into the movie. Teen movies nowadays just don’t do it for me. There are exceptions of course, like The Edge of Seventeen and Eight Grade.

Leave a Comment Below!

%d bloggers like this: