10 Things

  • Category: Music & Movies
  • Words: 2653
  • Grade: 70

Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) is dying to go out with Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) the babe of their school. Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) would rather die than go out with a boy. Mr. Stratford has this rule where Bianca can date... when Kat does. Bianca begs her sister to have a night of "teenage normalcy" Little does Bianca know that not only Joey is trying to set her sister up but also Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) her cute, but also unpopular French tutor. Joey and Camereon's "set up guy" Patrick (Heathe Ledger) is trying to get Kat to go out with him. But does it work, will Kat go out with him? Will Bianca go out with Joey?

1) It proves, again, the durability of the Bard. With so many teen-dream movies borrowing from past literary glory -- Clueless from Jane Austen's "Emma,'' Cruel Intentions from "Les Liaisons Dangereuses,'' She's All That from "Pygmalion'' -- a high-school rendition of Shakespeare was inevitable. The result is a lively rewrite of "The Taming of the Shrew.''
Film Festival entry Wicked) can strike fear in males with a sarcastic comment or a withering look. She also shows tenderness and depth usually absent in teen-themed movies.
4) Larry Miller, perhaps the most underrated and consistently reliable comedian around. The pudgy, balding Miller -- seen in The Nutty Professor and Pretty Woman, and heard as the pointy-headed boss on "Dilbert'' -- provides many laughs and a refreshing dash of pathos as the flustered Stratford patriarch.
5) The conspiracy. Knowing that no one will date the "heinous bitch'' Kat, a plot is hatched. Class nerd Michael (David Krumholtz) sees his new best pal Cameron (Joseph-Gordon Levitt, from "3rd Rock From the Sun'') is smitten by Bianca, and enlists class jerk Joey (teacher.
8) A surprisingly astute script. Writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, who sold the screenplay on spec, have an ear for teen-speak -- but aren't afraid to drop a few references to Sylvia Plath or Betty Friedan. They and director Gil Junger (a TV veteran, whose credits include the "Ellen'' coming-out party) also engineer some charming moments, like Patrick's no-holds-barred rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You'' in a football stadium.
9) The soundtrack. A solid mix of '80s and '90s tunes -- puncuated by a prom-night performance by the band Save Ferris, and covers of Nick Lowe's "Cruel to Be Kind'' and Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me'' by Letters to Cleo.
10) A dash of poetry at the end. Kat's English assignment, which provides the movie's title, is a sweet finish to an entertaining movie -- and makes 10 Things I Hate About You quite likable.

10 Things I Hate About You pulls itself together just enough to be a charming successor to the somewhat-more-congruent Clueless of a few years back, the successful Valley Girl version of Jane Austen's "Emma" that was an arguable predecessor of the current wave of teen-oriented rewrites of classic literature.
The opening minutes of 10 Things suggests some promising things that quickly vanish, particularly a certain tone of fringe lunacy similar to that of such Roger Corman-produced teen flicks as Eat My Dust and Rock and Roll High School. Set at the fictional Padua High (the film makes great use of locations in Seattle and Tacoma), the story begins with the introduction of young Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a new guy in school who meets his acerbic guidance counselor (Allison Janney) while she's writing a steamy scene for a porn novel on her laptop. From there, Cameron comes under the wing of a sweet-natured, campus hustler, Michael (David Krumholtz of Slums of Beverly Hills, still brilliantly evoking the 1950s in his patter and body language), who takes Cameron on a tour of Padua's cliques: white Rastafarians, A-V Club geeks, ditzy babes, delinquents, the spuriously cool and the truly cool.
Seen from a generous number of wide, overhead shots, the clutter of bodies and wildly diverse identities milling about the campus are suggestive of a lively Padua set for a production of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," the familiar comedy upon which the script for 10 Things is based. The suggestion of a cinematic hybrid of drive-in fodder and the Bard, however, dissipates as writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, and director Gil Junger, turn their attention to a more conventional, tightly framed story that is nonetheless great fun in patches.
In order to date Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), the dish of his dreams, Cameron and the loyal Michael prevail upon Padua's mythic thug, Verona (Heath Ledger), to take out her older sister, Kat (Julia Stiles). The arrangement is necessary as the girls' single father (a funny and incisive performance by Larry Miller), worried about teen mating rituals, has established a rule that Kat must step out with a boy first -- a near-impossibility, everyone knows, since the iconoclastic Kat is deeply cynical about anything approaching normal life. Cameron's mission is complicated by the fact that a vacuous makeout man (Andrew Keegan), with his eye on Bianca, has paid Verona to do the same thing. (It's a slightly unnecessary complication but the only way, one supposes, to create a parallel to Petruchio's interest in Kate's dowry in Taming of the Shrew.)
Unlike the smooth and consistent progress of Clueless, there is a distinct but not wholly unpleasant lumpiness about the organization of 10 Things. Several scenes without a strong basis in character logic are designed to stand distractingly alone -- an erotic, tabletop dance by Kat; a friendly paintball duel between Kat and Verona as prelude to their first kiss -- as if the film needed some simple hooks to mitigate the literary vibes. But for the most part 10 Things keeps faith with a growing enchantment as individuals begin matching up with their destined soulmates: Kat with Verona, Cameron with Bianca, even Michael with Kat's Shakespeare-worshipping best friend, Mandella (Susan May Pratt).
Junger has a strong, comic eye, but he generously draws the audience's attention entirely toward a strong and attractive cast, who in turn are working with dialogue expertly tuned to the needs of each character. Everything properly leads to Stiles and Ledger, who are as appealing together as the contentious lovers in many a filmed or televised production of "Taming" {and neither of them has to shriek to be entertaining). Perhaps the biggest compliment one can pay this film as a whole is that we may one day look back on it the way we now do American Graffiti or Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and see a blessed ensemble of performers who went on to terrific and deserving success.
Rated PG-13 Rating: Four stars
Cast: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Andrew Keegan, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, Gabrielle Union, Susan May Pratt, Larry Miller, David Leisure and Allison Janney.
Director: Gil Junger.
Writers: Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith.
Cinematographer: Mark Irwin.
Composer: Richard Gibbs.
Distributor: Touchstone.
Running time: 94 minutes.

Set in the fictional Padua High School (and filmed in handsome locations in Seattle and Tacoma), "10 Things I Hate About You" deliriously hurls us into a single-minded teen milieu, creating a definite look, code of manners and witty jargon that encloses us in a strictly contemporary world. It's Shakespeare by way of "Dawson's Creek," and it's engaging fun.
Padua High is the home-away-from-home for the cheerily popular Bianca, one of two Stratford sisters around which Junger's action swirls. Bianca (played by Larisa Oleynik) is one of the most popular girls in school, but her style is being cramped by her doctor-father (Larry Miller) and her sister Kat (beguiling Julia Stiles), a budding feminist not into the usual teen mind-set.
The no-nonsense Kat refuses to massage the egos of the guys who attend Padua and, consequently, has acquired a reputation of being, well, a shrew. All Kat wants to do is graduate from Padua so she can get on with her life -- which means moving away and attending Sarah Lawrence College.
The fact that Kat (this film's Katherine, but here the name is short for Katarina) refuses to date gives their father a reason to forbid the avid Bianca from dating. Mr. Stratford makes a dictim: Bianca can go out with boys only if Kat does, too -- which is unlikely to happen.
This inspires Bianca to become involved in a convoluted plan to get Kat interested in a guy. Caught up in this plan is Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), Padua's self-proclaimed lothario, who wants to add Bianca to his list of scores, and Cameron James (Joseph-Gordon Levitt), who also wants to date Bianca and agrees to help Joey in his plan. Cameron and his friend Michael (David Krumholtz) bet Joey that they can find the perfect match for Kat.
The surly Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), the film's Petruchio figure, is bribed to woo Kat and win her affections. If he succeeds, that will leave Bianca available for either Joey or Cameron -- whoever gets there first.
There are a few adults here. In addition to Miller, who is quite funny as a father trying to control an uncontrollable situation, David Leisure plays a teacher who rather greedily confiscates one student's bag of pot and another's bag of chips (making it clear that he has plans for both). Also featured is Broadway's priceless Allison Janney as the school's irreverent guidance counselor who, inspired by Padua's young hunks, spends her time writing sexed-up romance novels.

But this is strictly a teen world, and "10 Things I Hate About You" is fortunate to have a bunch of budding "http://www.sacbee.com/leisure/themovieclub/spotlight/pfeiffer/pfeiffer.html"s, "http://www.sacbee.com/leisure/themovieclub/spotlight/sarandon/sarandon.html"s and Kevin Klines in its cast.
The resplendent Stiles -- who will be seen in two more teen-oriented adaptations of Shakespeare plays (as Ophelia in "Hamlet" opposite "http://www.sacbee.com/leisure/themovieclub/spotlight/hawke/hawke.html", and in "O," a version of "Othello") -- takes top honors as Kat. She's both entirely likable and entirely believable in the role.
Her poise is awesome.
And Ledger, who is from Perth, Australia, brings just the right balance of braggadocio and sensitivity to his Patrick Verona. The topping to his performance is an unexpected musical number in which he serenades Stiles with "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" along the school bleachers, the way "http://www.sacbee.com/leisure/themovieclub/spotlight/travolta/travolta.html" did in "Grease" (1978), mixing in a little Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly for good measure. It has the casual air of a guy goofing off.
Oleynik is like a found object here, while Keegan, Levitt and Krumholtz, along with Gabrielle Union and Susan May Pratt, all have moments in which they shine.
With kids like these in films today, Pfeiffer, Sarandon and Kline will have to watch out.
Without mincing any words, their movie is really rad.

The Stratford girl's are as different as night and day. Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), sweet, simple, popular and desperate to date; Kat (Julia Stiles), antisocial, antiestablishment, antiauthoritarian, and determined to avoid the opposite sex. Dr. Stratford (Larry Miller) is positively opposed to either girls' participation in the prom and comes up with a solution for Bianca's problem and his... Bianca can date when Kat does! Enter Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and crew with a devious plan to capture the heart of a shrew.
A clever update of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You combines subtle allusions to the Bard in a modern medium. I love the occassional dialogue throw backs to the original "Shrew" ("I burn, I pine, I perish"). I was pleased with the sharp performances of the young actors and actresses, who handled the complexity of characters in Shakespeare's plot with amazing ease. A well done film.
Ten Things I Hate About You is rated PG-13 for crude sex related humor and dialogue and alcohol and drug related scenes. Rightly so. There is quite a bit of inuendo throughout the movie, most of which a Christian audience will find unnecessary. Although no racier than Shakespeare's original (albeit a bit more blatant), Ten Things does have enough sexual content to justify a warning. Parents with teenagers could use Kat's comments about her sexual experiences being a negative result of peer pressure as a launching point to discuss a difficult topic. Furthermore, Dr. Stratford's ignorance is bliss; yet, still ignorance and, as Christian parents, we cannot ignore the fact that teenage pregnancy is virtually the same in the

finds herself as the object of two boys' affections: cool, vain Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) and kind, somewhat shy Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Working as reluctant allies, Joey and Cameron pick out a potential date for Kat: Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), the local bad boy. They reason that Kat might find him too great a challenge to refuse, and, once she starts going out with him, Bianca will be free to date one of them. But getting Kat and Patrick together proves to be a difficult chore, and, when he realizes that he genuinely likes her, Patrick must go to extraordinary lengths to tame the shrew.
10 Things I Hate About You is top-heavy with the references to Shakespeare. The Bard's sonnets are being taught in English class, so we get to hear bits and pieces of them. A couple of would-be lovebirds enjoy quoting from "Macbeth" and dressing like they belong in the 16th century. The school where most of the action transpires is called "Padua High." The main characters have last names like "Verona" and "Stratford", and their first names are variations of their "Taming" counterparts: Kate becomes Kat and Petruchio becomes Patrick. It's not as clever as "../s/shakespeare.html", but, as a way to sneak in literary asides, it works.
One of the most refreshing things about 10 Things I Hate About You is that it doesn't feature the same tired faces that adorn every other movie of the genre (I'm speaking about the Jennifer Love Hewitts and Sarah Michelle Gellars). No one in this film is a big star, but everyone is a capable actor. Julia Stiles (Wicked) is brilliant as the "tempestuous" Kat, whose sullenness hides a bubbling sensuality. She's the film's real standout, although she is almost matched by her dashing, romantic counterpart, Heath Ledger, with whom she shares an undeniable chemistry. Also solid are Larisa Oleynik as the pretty-but-petty Bianca and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the guy everyone hopes gets the girl. As Cameron's best friend, David Krumholtz provides some comic relief, and Andrew Keegan is effective as the oily villain.
The dialogue in 10 Things I Hate About You is peppered with sexual references and double entendres. In fact, they're so thick that I was surprised the film got away with a PG-13 rating. Kat has all of the best lines, and Stiles utters them with relish. Smart, sharp dialogue may not be the foundation of a good movie, but it certainly is a key ingredient, and one of the reasons why 10 Things I Hate About You succeeds. The comedy (and there's plenty of it) is of the hit-and-miss variety, sometimes trying too hard to get laughs instead of letting them come naturally. Some of it (such as an English teacher's treatment of his students) is genuinely funny, while other examples (the buffoonery of Kat and Bianca's father) miss the mark by a wide margin.
The love stories (there are two: Kat/Patrick and Bianca/Cameron) are frothy, although the plot is littered with the debris of several unfortunate romantic comedy devices. (For example, Patrick asks Kat to the prom because Joey pays him $300 to do so and she inevitably discovers this in a contrived manner.) However, if we accept that these elements are a necessary part of the genre, then 10 Things I Hate About You ranks as one of the strongest entries in the recent wave of teen-oriented films - a pleasant blend of Shakespeare and John Hughes. That makes it an entertaining option with appeal for more than just kids.

ad 4
Copyright 2011 EssayTrader.net All Rights Reserved