Film, TV, and Popular Culture

10 Things I Hate About You

Contains spoilers.

There are certainly not 10 things I hate about this film! It stars the legendary Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. Ledger plays the supposed bad boy Patrick who is bribed into asking Kat (Julia Stiles) out on a date. Kat has a big chip on her shoulder much to the annoyance of her sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) who wants to date but is told by their paranoid father that she can’t until Kat does. Thanks to the lovesick Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is desperate to date Bianca, a slightly convoluted plan is hatched to get Kat dating Patrick by enlisting Joey (Andrew Keegan) – who also wants to date Bianca – to pay Patrick to take Kat out. The film is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” but you don’t need to know the story to enjoy this film.

Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles dated in real life for a while and their romance started on the set of this film, and from watching their characters, it’s obvious they make a sweet couple. Patrick and Kat both have guarded hearts and they embark on a see-saw journey of opening up to the other to closing themselves off again. When Kat inevitably finds out that Patrick was paid to take her out, she is understandably mad at him. The problem is that Kat has already fallen for Patrick and she has to decide whether to forgive him for Patrick has also fallen for her. Like I said, sweet. One rather memorable scene involves Patrick singing ‘Can’t take my eyes off of you’ with full band backup, it’s a rather charming moment.

It occurred to me when I watched about 10 minutes of Mean Girls 2 that part of the success of this film is the notable cast – for what I saw of Mean Girls 2, none of the cast seemed to really stand out or make much of an impression, the cast was rather bland. Heath Ledger was, without a doubt, a brilliant actor, and Julia Stiles was perfectly cast as a strong, independent young woman who also had a vulnerable side. The rest of the cast also worked really well, and everything about this film, from the writing to the direction, worked well. The strong cast and strong writing make this a charming film that I have watched many times over!

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