"I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car, I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots and the way you read my mind; I hate you so much it makes me sick, it even makes me rhyme. I hate the way you're always right, I hate it when you lie, I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you're not around, and the fact that you didn't call, But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all."
10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 High School film which was, essentially, a sort of murky, updated High School AU-style take on The Taming of the Shrew. The plot is fairly standard for a romantic comedy, and runs as such:Something is rotten in the house of Stratford. It has come to light that Katerina Stratford, the feminist, intelligent, and well, shrewish elder sister, has received an acceptance letter to a college her overprotective father doesn't want her to go to. Bianca, the bubbly, popular younger sister, got a ride home from a boy today. There's much anger and words are exchanged that cannot be taken back, and from all of this a new rule sprouts forth: Bianca can date when Kat does. This is pretty much the end of it for Bianca, as Kat doesn't really do the whole dating thing, preferring to snark and study. However, when Bianca spills this to Cameron, the new kid in town who has a crush on her and is her French Tutor, he develops a plan: Find someone who'll date Kat. But who?The bad boy in town, of course. Enter Patrick Verona. He's mean, he's tough, and he scares off Cameron when he's approached with the idea. However, Michael, Cameron's new friend(ish), comes up with an idea: get Joey, a popular guy with a crush on Bianca, to cough up money for them to bribe Patrick with. This succeeds, and in the end, Patrick woos Kat by essentially being as cantankerous and stubborn as she is, only more romantic. He ends up asking her to the prom, having been given 300 bucks to do it, and while she doesn't go at first, she eventually accepts. The problem? He's actually really starting to like this girl...Despite being a teen romcom, 10 Things received some good reviews for acting, writing and general amusement value. It's still fondly remembered years later because of that. Most notably, it put its two leads on the map as dramatic actors to watch in the future. Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger had their break-out roles here. In the meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) and Larisa Oleynik (the title character from The Secret World of Alex Mack, not to mention JGL's girlfriend on Third Rock) played the roles of Cameron and Bianca. Lastly, David Krumholtz of NUMB3RS, The Addams Family and The Santa Clause played Michael, and Allison Janney had a One-Scene Wonder role as "Miss Perky," the school's incredibly-messed up guidance counselor. (This film is a shining example of Hey, It's That Guy! and Retroactive Recognition.)Also has a sitcom based on it, which airs on ABC Family. More information on it can be found here. Despite only lasting two years, it amassed an impressive fanbase and was generally considered better than expected for a series recycled from a film.
This film provides examples of:
Actor-Shared Background: They worked in Heath Ledger's Australian background to be an actual part of the character, including having Kat ask him if the accent was real or faked.
And This Is for...: Bianca does this to Joey near the end of the movie. It's immensely satisfying.
Lampshaded with the White Rastas when they try to join in on Mr. Morgan's righteous indignation about the lack of black authors on the school curriculum, only to be reminded they're not actually black.
Michael: These delusionals are your White Rastas. Big Marley fans, they think they're black. Semi-political, but mostly...
Cameron: ...Smoke a lot of weed?
Bad Guys Play Pool: Just to reinforce his badassitude, Patrick is shown smoking and playing pool in a bar before Cameron comes to tell him how to impress Kat.
Cameron: We're screwed. Michael: Hey, no, hey. I don't want to hear that defeatist attitude. I want to hear you upbeat. Cameron (upbeat): We're screwed! Michael: There you go.
Because I Said So: Their father, sort of, and also Kat towards Bianca's wish to date Joey. She doesn't explain why till the end of the movie. Kat slept with Joey once. When she said she didn't want to do it again, he dumped her.
The Bet: Subverted and, in a way, played straight. Joey is actually just after Bianca because his friends bet him he couldn't sleep with her, but by the time Bianca finds out about this she's already become disenchanted with Joey and realized that Cameron is the better guy. Patrick, while not betting on anything himself, is the one who catches the consequences of the trope when Kat finds out that he was paid to take her out.
Bilingual Bonus: Unlike the other French lesson dialogue, Cameron's French cursing is not subtitled.
Black Bra and Panties: Bianca takes this as a sign that her sister wants to eventually have sex. Foreshadows the fact that she already has
Brick Joke: Early in the movie Patrick drills a hole in Cameron's French textbook. The hole remains for the rest of the movie, making for several scenes where the already clueless Cameron is attempting to learn French from a useless book.
Cameron: Did you just say ... am I in the right office?
The Cast Showoff: Averted with Cameron, who signs up as Bianca's French tutor in order to get close to her, despite being unable to speak French. In real life, Joseph Gordon-Levitt speaks fluent French.
Michael: She's actually looking for a French tutor...
Dawson Casting: One of the most notable aversions, all of the main cast was between 18 and 20 during the filming of the movie playing high schoolers (Krumholtz was the oldest, and he was barely 21 when the movie premiered). Some of the supporting cast were a little older, though - Gabrielle Union (Chastity) and Susan May Pratt (Mandella) were 27 and 25, respectively.
Does Not Like Men: Kat, in keeping with the original. It's eventually subverted, however.
Establishing Character Moment: The movie opens with perky pop song playing over fun, bouncing credits, as four perky pretty girls roll up to a stop sign in a brightly-coloured sports car... then the pop music is rapidly drowned out by Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation", as a lone, sour-faced young woman rolls up next to them in a beat-up Ford, glaring. Six minutes before we learn her name, five minutes before she ever speaks, and we already know Kat's basic character.
Also captured in that wonderful exchange with Miss Perky:
Ms. Perky: People perceive you as somewhat... Kat: Tempestuous? Ms. Perky: "Heinous bitch" is the term used most often. [[Kat reacts with a pleased smile]]
Even the Guys Want Him: After Heath Ledger finished his audition, the director turned to his mostly female staff and said "I'm not gay. But if I was, that is the kind of guy I'd want to sleep with."
Funny Background Event: As Bianca is trying to fire her bow, Joey tries to talk to her. The result is that the arrow misses the target and hits the teacher insteadnote The Coach was kind of asking for it standing in front of the firing line. He was clearly away from the line of fire but Bianca had turned about 60 degrees to her left between Joey's appearance and letting the arrow go. Regardless, that's why the general rule is to stay behind the firing line.
Made even funnier due to the fact that Bianca actually stops to look, before going right back to her conversation.
When Coach is supervising detention several scenes later, he still visibly has trouble sitting down due to his earlier injury.
Groin Attack: Bianca to Joey after finding out he placed a bet to nail her on prom night. And the audience cheers.
A Noodle Incident equivalent happens in Kat's backstory. ("I still maintain that he kicked himself in the balls.")
When Michael is on his bike and accidentally goes tumbling down a hill, he shouts "My balls!" during one of the bounces.
The Grovel: After getting Kat so royally pissed off at him that she won't speak to him, Patrick is instructed to "sacrifice yourself on the altar of dignity and even the score." No actual groveling is involved - Patrick opts for a marching-band-assisted rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" in the middle of her soccer practice instead - but the effect is the same, especially as it also nets him detention.
Informed Ability: Kat is supposed to be a good student, being apparently well-read and with high enough grades to get her a place at Sarah Lawrence, but her attempt at iambic pentameter poetry leaves something to be desired.
Mills and Boon Prose: A guidance counselor, who writes bad sex novels, wants to know another word for "engorged".
"I'll let you get back to Reginald's quivering member."
"I've got deviants to see and a novel to finish... now SCOOT!"
Missing Mom: Kat and Bianca's mother is absent, and only gets a mention whenever Bianca puts on a set of her pearls before going out.
She gets a few more mentions, the implication being that she left the family, and that left the dad feeling out of control, explaining why he's so overprotective of his daughters. She seemed to have been a character in an older version of the script.
Whether she left in a taxi or a hearse is never established, but frankly it doesn't change much.
In the original script, their mother was present, but spent all of her time at the computer writing romance novels. All of the gags surrounding Ms. Perky's novels originally belonged to Mrs. Stratford.
In the series, she's dead.
Missing Trailer Scene: Kat rejecting Patrick at the lockers then the camera zooms in on his grinning face *swoon*.
The original screenplay was written several years before the film eventually went into production, and heavily featured references to the Washington Riot Grrrl music scene that was in full swing at the time; the finished film name drops a few bands associated with the genre.
Patrick: You know, these guys are no Bikini Kill or the Raincoats, but they're not bad.
Nonindicative Name: "Ten Things I Hate About You" is catchy, but Kat's poem lists more than ten things.
Actually, some of the items may be listed together. The words "I hate" appear in the poem ten times; the words that follow may be lumped together. Thus "I hate your big dumb combat boots and the way you read my mind" would be one item.
Old Shame: Averted, a lot of people expected Heath Ledger to continue in the teen comedy genre but he instead refused a lot of similar roles until he started to get the parts he wanted like in The Patriot and A Knight's Tale. Despite this, he didn't consider this film to be an old shame, just not where he wanted to take his career.
Walter: Kissing isn't what keeps me up to my elbows in placentas all day!
Pair the Spares: Chastity ends up with Joey; Michael starts dating Kat's best friend Mandella.
Parking Payback: Kat's least favourite person parks his shiny new sports car behind her, in the middle of the road. This is, itself, illegal and done specifically to annoy her, but Kat takes it a bit too far when she backs right into him, destroying the side.
Walter: 'Whoops?' My insurance does not cover PMS!
Shrouded in Myth: Patrick Verona is supposed to have eaten a live duck, sold his liver on the black market for a new set of speakers, lit a State Trooper on fire, known Marilyn Manson, slept with a Spice Girl (he thinks) and been a porn star, among other things. Kat has a bit of a reputation too. Amusingly, when they discuss this later, it turns out the only thing that's actually true is Kat pulling a Groin Attack on a guy who tried to grope her in the lunch line.
Ms. Perky: His testicle retrieval operation went quite well, in case you're wondering.
Kat: I still maintain that he kicked himself in the balls.
"Shut Up" Kiss: Bianca does this to Cameron when he calls her out on her actions at the party (He was technically her date, but she spent more time with Joey only to recognize Joey for what he was. Cameron was being a gentleman by driving her home). Probably the best way to get back in his good graces.
Subverted later when Kat finally finds out that Patrick was paid to date her. He tries resorting to this to convince her that he really did love her, but she was too angry and pushed him away.
Played straight again at the very end of the movie, after Patrick finally wins Kat back by buying her dream guitar for her.
Stalking Is Love: Patrick goes to pretty great lengths to follow Kat around. Turns into a Crowning Moment of Awesome when he follows her into a bookstore and claims to be looking for a copy of The Feminine Mystique, and she shuts him down by pushing him away with that very book.
Teeny Weenie: Joey, apparently. Kat threatens to reveal this to the cheerleading team if he tells anyone that he slept with her.
Took a Level in Badass: Bianca, at the prom, after she finds out about Joey's bet and his involvement in the Kat plot. Much to the bemusement of the other characters.
Kat: Bianca beat the hell out of some guy.
Walter: Bianca did what?!
Kat: What's the matter, upset that I rubbed off on her?
Will They or Won't They?: Kat runs out on Patrick a total of three times over the course of the movie: once after the drunk Almost Kiss (which Patrick didn't go for), once after he accidentally pulled a cigarette, and (of course) at the prom after the truth comes out.
Cliff Hanger: The season one finale, which became the series finale when the show wasn't renewed. Walter walked in on Kat and Patrick right after they finished having sex. Bianca and Dawn quit the cheerleading squad in protest over their Chastity being unfairly kicked off, only to find out that Chastity is transferring schools and they didn't have to quit. Joey had become a contestant on a reality show and Bianca tunes in just in time to see him kissing another one of the contestants. The creator of the show was nice enough to tell fans how things would have developed if the series had continued Basically, Kat and Patrick's relationship would grow closer, though they'd eventually clash about college.(Kat wants to go and wants Patrick to go, Patrick doesn't think college is his thing.) We'd meet Patrick's mom and stepdad, and Walter would become a sort of father figure to Patrick. Kat's other possible love interest, Blank, would be around, but it wasn't quite going to turn into a full-fledged love triangle. Joey would get kicked off the reality show, causing him to lose a bit of his spark. His and Bianca's problems(from his cheating and bit of a personality change) would lead to Bianca confiding in Cameron, which would lead to a Bianca/Joey/Cameron love triangle. Chastity was going to be gone for good, since the actress quit the show, and Dawn would be given a bigger role to compensate.
Irony: Walter constantly gets on Bianca for the slightest things when in reality she hasn't done anything nearly as bad as Kat did.
Lighter and Softer: Everyone in the series is much nicer than their movie counterparts, especially Joey. Plus other things like the Stratford's Missing Mom being deceased as opposed to abandoning them.
Mistaken for Gay: Bianca thinks this of Cameron when Michael who really is gay gives him a makeover
No Antagonist: Bianca and Joey are both much nicer than their movie counterparts, Chastity is sort of a Lovable Alpha Bitch, even Blank is actually a pretty nice guy. The closest thing would be Walter but he's just trying to look out for his daughters
What the Hell, Hero?: After Cameron hears Bianca's date wants to have sex with her he goes out of his way to sabotage the date rather than telling her. She hates him briefly when she finds out
Younger Than They Look: Patrick, who is supposed to be 17, was played by a 21 year old and looked like it, mainly due to his muscular build, very deep voice, mature facial features, and the way he dressed. Walter even pointed this out in one episode, calling him out to Kat as 'your friend with the disturbingly deep voice who looks much older than 17.'