I Burn, I Pine, I Perish - Looking Back on 10 Things I Hate About You (Film G33k)
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Today marks 20 years since 10 Things I Hate About You premiered in theaters (feel old yet). Deliciously 1999, a fun year that sticks out for me as as someone who was in high school that year. In 1999 I was in the middle of my sophomore year, was taking play production and heavily involved in many of the Shakespearean adaptations. So of course a modern day adaptation of Taming of the Shrew was right up my alley, the fact that it was set in Seattle and filmed at the famous Stadium Highschool in Tacoma, WA was a nice added bonus.
So looking back, I figured we can resurrect this segment and touch on one of my favorite films from my high school days.
It’s telling that something based on the writing of one Billy Shakes can be so timeless that adaptations of it stand at a higher level than its contemporaries. Comparing 10 Things I Hate About You to other teen coming-of-age films, it never feels as formulaic as Never Been Kissed or Mean Girls, instantly dated like Pretty in Pink or Fast Times at Ridgemont High, or even as cheesy as Grease. To me, 10 Things I Hate About You stands at that upper echelon with some of my other favorites like Clueless and Say Anything.
For me, it's how relatable the fiction was. 10 Things I hate About You captured 1999 in such a perfect way and helped pave the way for Heath Ledger and his amazing but short career. Wonderfully capturing the spirit of the source material, the TL;DR of it all is the Stratford sisters are forbidden to date… but when their father adds the addendum that the younger Bianca can date when the obdurate shrew Katarina herself dates, this sets into motion plans to get the school’s resident bad-boy Patrick Verona to court the prickly Katarina.
While it is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play, 10 Things I Hate About You takes the source material and flips its misogynistic themes on its head. Instead celebrating the headstrong Katarina, unlike the source material’s Katherina and the “taming” in the title. While Patrick Verona’s tactics are dishonest, the lying pales in comparison to Petruchio and his psychological torments. While the Kate in Taming of the Shrew is a pitiable character, 10 Things I Hate About You’s Kat gets a true happy ending.
It begs another watch, and with today being the 20 year anniversary of it I had to pop it in. I was instantly transported back to my high school days; the costume design, the dialog, and especially the music. A soundtrack featuring some distinctly late 90s bands, headlined by Letters To Cleo which actually appeared in the movie. Fun and perky, and sounding distinctly 1999.
So to honor this film, perhaps now would be the perfect time to give it a watch. For you, 10 Things I Hate About You maybe buried in a box of old DVDs, you have have it linked to one of your digital libraries, or you could always buy it on your online movie store of choice.
10 Things I Hate About You left us with some lessons to live our lives by, when Patrick says “don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want” or when you meet the one that inspires in you feelings such as “I burn, I pine, I perish” you look them right in the eye and say, “you’re just too good to be true” and make sure they know “I can’t take my eyes off of you.”