Eye For Film >> Movies >> 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) Film Review
10 Things I Hate About You
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
10 Things I Hate About You is The Taming Of The Shrew rejigged for teens. The script (Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith) owes less to Will the Quill than to been-there cynicism. These kids have no illusions. Life is a role play, in which suckers are sucked and tough chicks don't work with safety nets.
At the centre of this high class high school are the Stratford sisters. Kat (Julia Stiles) is a pretentious, smartass, boy-busting bitch. Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) is a peaches-and-cream wannabee. Their dad (Larry Miller) believes that dating leads to babies and so grounds them. Later, he tells Bianca that if her man-hating sister is prepared to sacrifice her principles, he'll lift the ban.
Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), the 12th grade Lothario, accepts the challenge and bribes Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), the only longhair with a reputation for eating live animals, to persuade Kat to go out with him, thus leaving the field open for Bianca.
At the beginning, wit ricochets off the walls. As Kat softens and Patrick puts on a tux, the movie loses its spark. You begin to notice the songs on the soundtrack - always a bad sign. The actors are unknown, with the exception of Miller, who is always an asset to any comedy. As an ensemble piece, it is fresh and funny. As for Shakespeare, he suffers the same fate Jane Austen did in Clueless; but you don't have to know The Shrew to enjoy 10 Things.Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001