tek's rating:

10 Things I Hate About You (PG-13)
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This came out in 1999, and I'm fairly sure I saw it that year... but I am a bit confused. I don't think I saw it in a theater. I think I saw it on VHS. But when I try to remember where I saw it... the only possibility that comes to mind is a place I only ever was once, and then I think "Wait, was it this or Now and Then that I saw that time?" I have no idea. Not that it matters. The only thing that matters, really, is that I'm writing this review in 2018, after watching it on DVD. (Where? Meh, that's not important either.) I should say the movie is based on Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," which I haven't read or seen any other performances or adaptations of. So I have no idea how similar or different this version is from the original. But there are other Shakespeare references in the movie. And... in 2009 there was a a TV series of the same name that was sort of a reimagining of this movie.

So, it starts with a teenager named Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) coming to a new school. (Well, actually there's a brief scene before that that introduces us, sort of, to a couple of more important characters, via the music they each like. Personally, I like both songs.) Anyway, Cameron is showed the ropes by a guy named Michael. And then he spots a girl named Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), and instantly crushes on her. Unfortunately, her father, Walter Stratford (Larry Miller), doesn't let either of his daughters date. And Bianca's older sister, Kat (Julia Stiles), has no interest in dating. But at one point, Walter changes his rule about them dating, and instead says that Bianca can't date unless Kat does. (This seems very weird to me... like, he wants Bianca to be more like Kat, but at the same time he wants Kat to be more like Bianca. I guess it would make sense if he wanted them to meet somewhere in the middle, but honestly I don't buy that, either.) So... Cameron and Michael hatch a plan to find a guy to date Kat, so that Cameron can go out with Bianca. Finally they choose a social outcast whom everyone's afraid of (because of ridiculous rumors), named Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). But he's not interested, so they would have to pay him, but they don't have any money. So they trick an asshole named Joey into paying Patrick to date Kat, letting Joey think Bianca's interested in him.

Well, there are some other characters I should mention, though they aren't terribly important. Bianca's best friend is Chastity (Gabrielle Union), and Kat's best friend is Mandella. There's also an English teacher named Mr. Morgan (Daryl "Chill" Mitchell), and a guidance counselor named Ms. Perky (Allison Janney), and a soccer coach named Mr. Chapin (David Leisure). And... I dunno. The movie is fairly fun and amusing, even if the whole plot of someone going out with someone else for the wrong reasons and then falling for that person and then the person finding out about the wrong reasons and getting upset before finally realizing the other person really likes them after all and getting back together has been done roughly a million times. And honestly, Kat and Patrick do turn out to be kind of a good match, I guess. Maybe. On the other hand, I don't really feel like Cameron and Bianca were a good match. As far as I could tell, he only ever liked her for her looks. And despite not being as blatantly bad as Joey, he was still pretty damned manipulative. Of course, despite their relationship being the impetus for Kat and Patrick's relationship, Bianca and Cameron are really just a subplot. (The sibling relationship between Bianca and Kat ultimately proves more interesting and substantive.)

Other than that... the movie has some great music, most notably a couple of songs by Letters to Cleo. And some decent performances by the main actors. And I guess that's all I have to say. Oh! Except I was going to mention, I don't really understand the title. There is a point near the end where Kat reads a poem she'd written, but... it had more than 10 things. But whatever.


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