Movie Review: 10 Things I Hate About You (DVD)
Inspired by the classic Shakespeare play The Taming of the Shrew, the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You tells the story of two sisters, Kat Stratford (played by Julia Stiles) and Bianca Stratford (played Larisa Oleynik). Their overprotective father has changed his dating rule so that Bianca can date when Kat does. The problem? Kat is too anti-social and opinionated to be interested in getting one. In comes a plan set up by new kid Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and geek Michael (David Krumholtz): pay scary tough-guy Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to date Kat, so that Bianca can date Cameron. There’s one other problem: Bianca is being pursued by model, jerk, and fellow student Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan).
One of the best things about the film is the characters. When you first see them, they just seem to be stereotypes like the geeks, the populars, and the outcasts. As the movie progresses, deeper personalities are revealed. Also, they have great lines that get your mind off the various cliques they are in. A couple of favorite lines are between Kat and Bianca. Bianca says, “Where did you come from, Plant Loser?” Kat replies, “As opposed to Planet Look at Me, Look at Me?” Furthermore, some of the characters break the typical teen-speak mold by using vocabulary such as vile and tempestuous and even breaking the language barrier by speaking a little French.
Another excellent thing about this film is the acting. Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger are fantastic as the main characters. They don’t exaggerate their roles and do the emotional scenes quite well. Of the two, Heath Ledger was the most impressive because he displays more than acting ability in the film. Furthermore, Larry Miller did a good job playing the Stratford girls’ father by being emotional and a little funny, not just the typical angry strict dad.
Last but not least, I have to praise the use of Shakespeare in the film. From time to time, some of the characters quote lines from Shakespeare’s various works such as a sonnet or The Taming of the Shrew. In addition, they manage to incorporate Shakespeare into the plot in a way that is truly romantic.
All in all, this film is great. It has the potential to become a classic teen high school film (if it isn’t already). I recommend this for anyone who wants to watch a fun and meaningful teen film.