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10 Things I Hate About You

Romeo, Oh Romeo, Get Out Of My Face. 

Year: 1999 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Gil Junger 
Starring: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, Andrew Keegan, Susan May Pratt, Gabrielle Union, Larry Miller, Daryl Mitchell, Allison Janney, David Leisure, Gil Junger  
An image from 10 Things I Hate About You

Ten Things I Hate About You, is a fresh teen comedy from 1999 centred around two sisters, who have very antagonistic lives and personalities. Bianca Stratford (Oleynik), the most popular girl in school is unable to date the boy of her dreams, equally popular Joey Donner (Keegan) as her father will only allow her to date if her sister Kat (Stiles) dates. Unfortunately for Bianca, Kat Stratford is one of the most unpopular girls due to her hostile and against-the-grain nature. New boy in town, Cameron (Gordon-Levitt) falls for Bianca and subsequently learns of her father’s no dating rule. He sets out with his friend Michael (Krumholtz) to change all that, by trying to find a date suitable enough for Kat, at any cost.

Based on William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” this film takes a complicated plot, wonderful language and colourful characters, and throws them all into an MTV-style High School setting. This film however does something that not many teen films do, which is to not take itself too seriously. This film in fact makes a blatant mockery of the popularity hierarchy, and social groups which permeate from all American High Schools. For example, when Cameron arrives, Michael takes him on a tour of the school, but rather than showing him the buildings and different departments, he shows him the people, like “the basic beautiful people” and “the coffee kids.” Even the High School itself and the teachers that work there are not the usual- Ms. Perky is the guidance counsellor who writes erotic fiction in her office, and Mr. Morgan is the Shakespeare-rapping, English teacher with an attitude. It is all of these little calculated details which make the film so hilarious.

The late Heath Ledger delivers a charming performance as Patrick Verona. In one of his first major film roles, Ledger portrays the bad-boy with a pretty face unlike those who have come before him, and I’m sure will come after him in this genre. His character is sweet and complex, despite his reputation, and proves to have a wonderful singing voice. Ledger’s sincere and handsome face lives on in this film, despite his tragic and untimely passing.

This very funny and uniquely charming film, accompanied with its diverse and very cool soundtrack, is an absolute must-see!

Rachael Pilson-Wood

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways This film is a 90’s take on William Shakespeare’s a Taming Of The Shrew. Set in present day America in the fictional Padua High School, Bianca (Olenyec) is probably the most popular girls in school, with most of the male population falling at her feet. She could just about take her pick, but she has this tiny little problem, her sister Kat (Stiles). Their father has deemed that there will be no dating of his daughters, which suits Kat fine. However Bianca is not impressed, and eventually gets her father to concede that she can date when Kat does. The problem being that Kat is an outspoken feminist with no desire to date, also pretty much the entire school think she is a heinous bitch, so the chances are no-one would date her if she was interested.

Cameron (Levitt) is the new boy in school and instantly falls for Bianca, even though they have never spoken. He decides that in order for him to score a date he’ll have to convince someone to date Kat, not quite so easy, so together with *sleazy italian type* (who also wants to date BIanca), they arrange with *ye bad boy type* (Heath Ledger) to take Kat out, paying him for his troubles and leaving BIanca free to date who she wants.

If you are familiar with Shakespeare’s version then the ending comes as no big surprise to you, and even if you aren’t then the outcome is hardly a surprise. This is not to say that the film is boring, it’s a a well thought out adaptation which is clearly aimed at the teen market, making use of the affordable TV stars, Levitt from 3rd rock from the sun, and Olenyec from The secret World Of Alex Mack. Which is a smart move as they attracted a sizeable audience for the film when it first opened.

This film is a light-hearted romance, with lots of witty one-liners and a support cast of amusing people, not least of all a slightly wacky guidance counsellor who’s interest lies in the writing of her steamy novel. Not the most intelligent film of the year but well worth watching just to catch Ledger serenading Kat on the football pitch.

Kirsty Stokes

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Screenings of this film:

1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
2007/2008 Summer Term (35mm)
2022/2023 Summer Term (35mm)
2022/2023 Summer Term (35mm)