Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Retro Review: 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You totally slipped under my radar when it was released back in 1999. I 'missed' the release hype that took place ten years ago and have never got round to watching it on TV. Silly me because last weekend I realised exactly what I have been missing out on. 10 Things is another Shakespeare update that is based on The Taming of the Shrew and is the tale of two very different sisters. Kat is the elder sister played by Julia Stiles and she is an anti social feminist who is best known for her extremely sharp tongue. She spends her time listening to Riot Grrrl music, reading feminist books and sneering at teenage school life. Her sister, Bianca played by Larisa Oleynik is a total contrast. A complete and utter Valley Girl, her life consists of shopping, make up, boys and more boys. Both sisters are forbidden to date by their over protective Father and while this may suit Kat it infuriates Bianca who has her eye on lothario, Joey Donner who is played by Andrew Keegan. However their Father relents and comes up with a new rule that Bianca can date as soon as her sister starts dating. Meanwhile Bianca is also pursued by newcomer, Cameron James played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt who comes up with a plan in order to get Kat dating. He enlists the services of Patrick Verona played by the late Heath Ledger, who is as much of a misfit as Kat and a rebel without a cause. He is hired by Joey to take Kat out on a date after negotiations with Cameron proved fruitless.

While 10 Things has does not steer from traditional romcom values it proves to be an utterly charming film. Julia Stiles is surprisingly brilliant as the kick ass Kat while Heath Ledger shows early signs of the amazing acting that led to his Oscar win. The scene where he serenades Kat with the song, 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' is hilarious. Larissa Oleynik is kind of ok as Bianca and it was nice to see her working again after her show, The Secret World of Alex Mack. However, the success of the film really belongs to Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger who show a lot of chemistry.

Now this cute film has a TV series follow up which will hit the small screen this year. Gil Junger who directed the film is back onboard and newbies Lindsey Shaw and Meaghan Jette-Martin play Kate and Bianca respectively. I am a bit sceptical about this as I was not a fan of the TV version of Clueless but I do think it is kind of cool that they have waited 10 years before they made the show and sort of poignant.

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