Saturday, February 1, 2014

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)


“People perceive you as somewhat...”
“Tempestuous?”
“‘Heinous bitch’ is the term used most often.”

            When I see a commercial for new teen comedy movies I just shake my head. They are all about drinking and getting laid. I have unfortunately seen some newer ones and I cannot believe how horrible they are. There is nothing funny about them, the acting is terrible and the stories are some of the worst I have ever seen in my life. Remember when teen comedies were actually funny and witty and really smart with characters you could look up to and admire and there was not a lot of cursing and drinking? Remember when they were predominately about girls who could stand on their own? I am talking about teen comedies from the 90s and early 2000s. I am talking about really good ones like Clueless, Down to You, Empire Records, and She’s All That. One of the all time greatest teen comedy movies is 10 Things I Hate About You. It has smart characters you could look up to and also relate to and it is witty and brilliant.
            Bianca Stratford (Larissa Oleynik) is high school royalty. All the boys want to get with her. New kid Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of the boys with Bianca on his radar. He is completely taken with her as soon as he sees her in the hallway. His geek guide Michael (David Krumholtz) tells him that Bianca is off limits and tells Cameron not to even think about her especially because she and her older Kat (Julia Stiles) are not allowed to date. Michael points out Kat to Cameron. Kat is a shrew and a total bitch. Everyone keeps their distance when Kat is around. She is constantly going at it with the popular school hottie Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan). They both despise each other.
            Bianca and Kat are completely opposite from each other. Bianca as mentioned is high school royalty and wants to do what everyone else is doing. Kat on the other hand hates everyone and never wants to be like everyone else and is a feminist. She is definitely not afraid to give people a piece of her mind. She hides behind sarcasm and a hard shell.
            Cameron comes up with the idea to get a date for Kat so Bianca can date. The only problem is none of the boys, even the dorkiest of boys, refuses to date her. In one class Michael and Cameron see the perfect candidate: Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). Patrick is the school’s resident bad ass with stories flying around that he punched a state trooper and ate things and did things normal people would not even do. Cameron tries to approach Patrick with the idea and Patrick winds up drilling a hole through Cameron’s French book. That is when Cameron comes up with a new plan to have Joey get involved. Michael puts the idea into Joey’s head to pay Patrick to take Kat out so Bianca can go on a date since Joey has been trying to go out with Bianca for a long time.
            Patrick gets Kat to go out with him and the two hit it off. As it usually goes in rom coms and teen movies the two eventually fall in love and of course since Patrick is being paid to take Kat out complications arise. And of course the complications are resolved at the end of the movie. And Cameron gets Bianca because Joey is a total jerk.
            The entire cast is awesome. It was perfect all the way Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger to even the background people. It is really cool to see how far Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have come/gone since this movie. Stiles took some time off for a while to go to school and other things and recently resurfaced in Silver Linings Playbook. She is a good actress I liked her a lot when I was younger. Ledger was fantastic. I love him in this more than any of his other roles I have seen him in. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was adorable here and no he is just hot! He has always been a good actor and you can see that in this movie. David Krumholtz is hilarious. He was the perfect nerd. Andrew Keegan was also very perfect as his asshole character.
            Kat Stratford is a character I grew up idolizing. I was never really into the popular crowd. Sure I wanted to wear the latest and coolest clothes I did not want to look like a total outcast. But other than the clothes I could have cared less about being popular. I hated girls in high school. I was much more into staying home and obsessively watching my favorite shows and obsessively listening to my music. I was eleven when 10 Things I Hate About You came out so I really did not understand the characters or the movie too much. I watched it a few years later and Kat Stratford became a role model and the movie became one of my favorites. I was always shy but yet I had a bit of a tough chick streak in me. I always wished I was Kat who spoke her mind, was tough as balls, and told people off without a care. She was the type of girl I wanted to know and wanted to be. Now at twenty-six I still want to be like Kat Stratford (I have toughened up a lot since first watching the movie though and usually do not hold too much back) and still want to know a girl like her.
            10 Things I Hate About You is one of the penultimate teen comedies. It was made at a time when teen comedies and regular teen movies and rom coms were not so dumbed down and commercialized. I miss the smart characters and the strong female characters that were hard to fall in love with because they were strong. I like that alcohol and drugs were not the whole plot of the movie or much of the movie. Sure there is a scene where Kat gets drunk but it was not all in your face. This was funny and intelligent. I would rather be treated like an intelligent viewer than one who was dumb and is supposed to not think and just laugh. 10 Things I Hate About You is perfect. Anyone from any time can appreciate and relate to the story and all the characters. If you have yet to see 10 Things I Hate About You, you must get on the ball and watch it!! I guarantee there is so much to enjoy.