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10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

February 12, 2010

4/10 Angsty Soliloquies

A poor man’s Clueless.

10 Things I Hate About You is the story of a High School boy who falls for a High School girl but can’t date her because her uptight dad will only allow it if her ice cold, seemingly undateable older sister has someone to go out with, too. So the kid comes up with a plan to get the most popular guy in school – who’s also got a jones for the younger sister – to pay the sketchy rebel to take out the psycho sister in a convoluted win-win scheme that I’m only now realizing is a hell of a lot harder to describe than I thought it would be.

It’s a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, so if you’re into that stuff or were forced to read it all throughout High School and college like I was, then hopefully you’ll get the gist better than I can give it to you. Or you could just Wikipedia it, that always works.

Anyway, I remember liking this when it first came out, but after watching it again the other night, something had changed. One of those refresher courses that ended up being so different than what I thought it would be that I couldn’t help but feel kind of sad at how disappointed I was. Maybe I’m giving this thing more credit than it deserved to begin with, but either way, it sucks when that happens.

So, yeah, this was a pretty frustrating movie to sit through. I’m all for these hip reboots of Shakespeare snoozefests that all the kids are talking about nowadays – hence the Clueless reference up there, even though it’s Jane Austen – but this is one of the rare instances where I actually found myself preferring the source material. But that’s what happens when you riddle your script with gags and one-liners that never land and dialogue that no teenager would ever speak. Absolutely. Infuriating. 

I’d say roughly 90% of this movie is just flat out annoying to watch and annoying listen to, like nails on a chalkboard. It wasn’t until the very end when things started to look up for the characters and Julia Stiles stopped being such an unrealistically snooty beotch that I finally started to smile. Man, having to listen to unlikable kids who all have an awful sense of humor isn’t my idea of two hours well spent.

Geez, I need to tone this down, I’m writing this like I had a gun in my mouth from the second I hit “PLAY”. There are some redeeming qualities, like Heath for instance as the mysterious Australian bad boy, Patrick Verona. It’s bittersweet and all, but he carries the movie and has the most interesting character to boot.

Also fun to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Julia Stiles and Laris Oleynik (aka: Alex Mack) back in the day when I was still staying up “late” to watch All That

And Allison Janney has a pretty amusing bit role. She’s awesome.

Other than that, I don’t know, drawing a blank. Not sure how everyone else feels about this movie, ’cause there was a time in my life where I dug it and I like to think that I wasn’t that easy to please in Middle School, but this kind of thing has happened before (eg: The Mask). 

Man, sorry to be such a Debbie Downer on a Friday of all things, but hey, it’s the most recent movie I’ve seen, I’ve got a system going on here. 10 Things I Hate About You has one really crappy script and the cast can’t really salvage it, but it’s got enough little moments to at least make me smile a decent amount for the last half hour. Liked how the title plays into the movie though, that was good, too. There, didn’t completely shit all over this movie.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2010 6:20 am

    aw Aiden R, you got it all wrong – 10 Things is a good teen movie, solid fun, the cast all throw themselves into it and its fun to watch

  2. Audrey permalink
    February 12, 2010 8:09 am

    I agree with Ross! It’s definitely lost some of its appeal now that I’m 23, but it is still a good story that makes me smile. Stop being so angst-y 🙂
    Love, Fred!

  3. February 12, 2010 10:48 am

    So many people seem to love this movie but I guess it’s not that good that it grows better as we age lol. In all, just a pretty decent teen movie 5/10.

  4. Moose permalink
    February 12, 2010 1:32 pm

    I remember liking enjoying this movie when I saw it a couple of years ago, but it definitely sucks when a movie you remember as good turns out to be crap. Watching The Mask again when I was older was the same for me. Thought it was great as a kid, turns out it sucked.

    • February 12, 2010 1:46 pm

      The Mask, man. What a bummer that was. Right there with ya’.

      • February 12, 2010 4:18 pm

        That reminds me of when I watched Batman(1989) again when I was fifteen. I loved that movie when I was three or four, but damn did that age terribly.

    • Duffy permalink
      February 12, 2010 2:27 pm

      Moose the last time you probably watched this movie was at Iona when I was watching it on ABCfamily haha! I really like this movie, haven’t seen it in a while and would probably watch it next time it’s on tv. It’s one of those movies I enjoy watching every now and then, I would have rated it higher.

  5. February 12, 2010 1:39 pm

    Its been a while since I’ve watched this movie. But its one of the few teen movies I actually enjoyed watching when I was a teen, so I wonder how I will find it now. Maybe I’ll rewatch it soon now that the 10th Anniversary edition is out.

  6. Ryan permalink
    February 12, 2010 2:08 pm

    I always liked this movie, but I never understood why their high school was nicer than most college campuses.

    • February 12, 2010 2:40 pm

      Dude, it was a fucking MANSION! Those kids went to Hogwarts for Christsakes.

  7. Branden permalink
    February 13, 2010 3:26 pm

    It’s just one of those movies that is greatest thing you’ve ever seen when you were a teenager. When you become a film snob, you reflect on what the hell were you talking liking that movie. That movie is so 90s.

    It’s harmless campy fun now.

  8. February 13, 2010 10:37 pm

    My wife loves this movie. I don’t get it. Good… not great! I remember Heath is good in it but I hope I’m not just thinking that because he’s deceased.

  9. February 14, 2010 1:07 pm

    Since people are naming their movies they loved when they were young but now not so great I’ll add my own. While I still think it’s good, Terminator 2 never blew me away the way I thought it would when I watched it again after years. Bit dissapointed that happened. To be honest I never liked Heath Ledger that much before The Dark Knight, even in this movie.

  10. mcarteratthemovies permalink
    February 15, 2010 3:16 pm

    Hey! I’m not the only one who remembers “All That”! Talk about a trip down memory lane. All this movie needed a trip to Good Burger and it woulda been a contender…

    No, actually this is one of the better teen comedies out there if you ask me. It’s no “Say Anything…” or “Heathers,” but the dialogue is pretty clever at times and the Julia Stiles/Heath Ledger pairing works well enough.

  11. February 16, 2010 12:58 pm

    Heath Ledger is awesome………… the Dark Knight!! Films like A Knights tale aint my cup o tea! Oh and T2. The thing is that I built it up so much in my head that I dissapointed myself when I watched it again. I still think it’s between good and great.

    • February 16, 2010 1:09 pm

      Yeah, Knight’s Tale was nothing special, but he was good in Brokeback, too. T2 will always be my favorite action movie of all time, so I’m a little biased on this one.

  12. March 1, 2010 2:10 pm

    hey ey ey, you’re always so generous with movies, but this one only a 4?!
    that’s a great movie, man. classic!

  13. March 13, 2010 6:40 am

    I understand about movies from your childhood not holding up, but I didn’t find that to be the case with 10 Things. It’s not great cinema or anything like that, but I have a fun time with it whenever I see it, well at least I used to, now it’s associated with a bad, bad ex, and that means it gets shoved into the “probably will never watch again” pile.

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