10 Things I Hate About You was the first film that I really fell in love with, after being forced to watch it while I was in school. Directed by Gil Junger, 10 Things I Hate About You is a modern interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew set in an American high school. I am quite a fan of Shakespeare’s works so this is one of the little reasons I like the film.

Released in 1999 it comes as no surprise that 10 Things I Hate About You is incredibly 90s. It’s not just set in the 90s it is incredibly over the top 90s that you can’t watch it without feeling nostalgic. But because of this, the film is visually great; its vibrant, its colourful, bright and, at times, majorly over the top but it’s just so fun that it gets away with it. That’s reason one, the visuals.

The next reason is the brilliant soundtrack. All around, 10 Things I Hate About You is a really fun film and with the addition of “chicks who can’t play their instruments”, in the words of Patrick Verona, the film really comes alive. There is plenty of 90s chick rock playing over the top of the film and whilst this plays a small part in the story of the film it really adds to the audience’s enjoyment.

The cast is made up of young actors, obviously as its set in a high school; a few of them would go on to great things. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has become one of the best actors of his generation, Julia Stiles has starred in a lot of big films (including the Bourne franchise) and the late Heath Ledger who needs no description, his talent was undeniable and David Krumholtz became the lead in hit television series Numb3rs. They are all really good actors in their own rights and even back in 1999 their talent was plain to see. Heath Ledger in particular is impressive in 10 Things I Hate About You as the bad guy turned good. The supporting cast (Larry Miller, Daryl Mitchell, Allison Janney) all have turns in the film that provide fantastic comedic moments and with this brilliant cast the film remains light hearted and thoroughly enjoyable throughout.

With the cast being so good, it is obvious that another huge reason to love this film is because of the characters. From the English teacher who just wants kids to “read a book written by a black man” right up to the ‘shrew’ Kat Stratford the characters are connectable and the way they are played and written allows the audience to easily connect. You connect with Cameron and understand his motivations even though Bianca is clearly not good enough for him (at the beginning of the film) and you connect with Kat and understand why she is like she is and you instantly dislike the cocky Joey Donner and await his comeuppance with a little bit of enjoyment. Kat, Bianca and Patrick’s journey and development as the film goes on is clear and fantastic, it is part of what makes the film really good, these characters change because of each other and all end up arguably better people than they were when the film began.

This leads me to my next reason. The themes of friendship and love that overwhelm 10 Things I Hate About You are played out very well. Cameron and Michael become good friends and I like to think that Cameron and Patrick have some sort of friendship especially after Patrick’s words of encouragement at the party. The family relationships in the Stratford household really come along well, from the arguing sisters, Kat and Bianca, to their relationship with their over protective father. And then of course, the relationships between Bianca and Cameron and then Patrick and Kat; Bianca’s relationship with Cameron is the main object of the film, really, and whilst at times it seems this won’t work out it I Patrick’s relationship with Kat that really intrigues audiences. At the beginning Patrick is in it for the money, but as he gets to know Kat he falls in love with her but things get in the way and it is really really satisfying to see that they end up together, happy.

The final, huge reason why I love 10 Things I Hate About You is this:

Heath Ledger’s smile:

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