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10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

This classic 90s film approach on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is one of teenage relevance and comedy. However, the plot is quite mundane and without invoking premises. Kat Stratford, a beautiful, reserved girl, is in constant discontent with her younger sister, Bianca – the complete opposite of Kat. When Bianca wants to start dating boys, she can only when Kat starts dating. Patrick Verona, Kat’s classmate, is paid to attract her and date her. However before the two even realize it, they are both madly in love with each other in this twisted tangle.  

Typical, satisfying rom-com but not worthy of cinematic praise. Although the film adaptation is not exactly like the play, it does adopt a more realistic and relatable plot and premises. Like many coming-of-age films, this film follows the same plot and premise of a couple of high school kids struggling to come to terms with their reality and future. 

Heath Ledger’s astounding performance is once demonstrated again in his role as Patrick Verona. His ability to play such a complex character with very few emotions conveyed is immaculate. The facial expressions Ledger displays at Verona tells a story of its own. His co-star Julia Stiles accurately plays an angsty, misfit teen – Kat Stratford. My favorite and this may be a bit bias, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cameron James is spectacular. All of these three actors are able to perfectly captivate their characters so the audience can relate.

The script is mediocre and ordinary. The only things it has going for itself is the witty remarks from the characters and the comedy. However, I do like the unique plot and twist on Shakespeare’s play and references. 

Although there isn’t much complexity to the plot, we do see character development in most of the main cast. They each go through the struggles of high school and teach the audience the dysfunctionality of a teen. The storyline has lots of twists and turns and receptive plots, specifically between Kat’s and Patrick’s relationship, which does get confusing and arduous halfway through the film. There are some unanswered background/plot questions that could’ve been intended by the director to save time, but they weren’t too confusing to the film.

This classic film is a must-see for lovers of cliché rom-coms. The plot and characters will have you rooting for the protagonists and the impractical relationship. This is a sappy film with a great cast that bears a blunt twist on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew that will twist and turn your heart.

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