Can you believe it’s been 20 years since heartthrob Heath Ledger wooed us all with his Franke Vallie karaoke number on the bleachers of Padua High? No? Neither can I.
It seems like just a moment ago the world was flocking to cinemas in their stonewashed jeans and mood rings to catch the latest teen rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You. Based on the Shakespeare play The Taming of the Shrew, the film follows Katarina Stratford (Julia Stiles), a feminist teen, as she is charmed by the bad boy Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). Unbeknownst to her his flirtation is part of a deal made with school rich kid Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), in order to get Donner a date with Kat’s younger sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). All the while, Donner has tricked love-struck new kid Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) into thinking he will be the one who gets Bianca. With all these lies and trickery, what could possibly go wrong?
If this has sparked your nostalgia-ridden heart, never fear, as screenings will be taking place this Friday 15th March, to celebrate the anniversary. Parks in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane will be playing the film, so check out your local directory. If you can’t get to any of those, but still crave that sweet, sweet 90s magic, you can catch the film on Stan or grab a DVD copy (are the kids still using them)? Until then, here is a list I have compiled of the Top 10 Reasons to Love 10 Things I Hate About You:
1. The Soundtrack
The film is jam-packed with indie-rock and pop infused tunes that have become synonymous with the film but none shine more than Letters to Cleo hit I Want You to Want Me, playing during the penultimate climactic moment of the film, where our protagonists share one of the best movie kisses in rom-com history.
2. The Fashion
Wedge flip-flops, camo shirts and flair jeans – staples of every teen’s wardrobe in 1999. The clothes in this film are so 90s it hurts… not to mention the Shakespearean-themed prom wear at the end. The fashion is truly 10/10.
3. The Paintball Scene
Flashing your teacher to get your hunky, hunky boyfriend out of detention, then paddling to a paintball farm and kissing in a pile of hay – classic. This entire scene is worth noting as one of the standouts in a film filled with romance, where Kat and Patrick share their first kiss.
4. Shakespeare References
Being an adaptation of a Shakespeare comedy, the film is packed with references. Not only are the names the same, but the English class topic is Shakespeare and the kids quote the bard, as if that’s how teens really talk.
5. Principal Perky and her Pulsating Desire
“Undulating with desire… Adrian removes her crimson cape at the sight of Reginal’s stiff and…”. Don’t you hate it when you just can’t think of the right word for your erotic novel? Allison Janney and her cat mug shine as the straight-talking Principal Perky who has no fear of telling students just how much of a, how do people put it…, heinous bitch they are or question the size of their… ahem… bratwurst…
6. The Poem
Definitely the most emotional moment of the movie, Kat delivers a heartfelt poem listing the 10 things she hates about Patrick. But mostly she hates the way she doesn’t hate him, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all. Someone pass the tissues.
7. Dr Stratford and the Pregnant Belly
It’s simple. Rule number one: No dating till you graduate. Rule number two: No dating till you graduate. Dr Stratford and his strap on pregnancy belly sure do have a tight grasp on his teenage daughters, but as he reminds them – Mama didn’t raise no fool.
8. It’s Not a Teen Rom-Com Without a Party
No classic teen flick is complete without the cliché house party scene. Underage drinking, upstairs bedroom shenanigans and that one kid who always brings a keg. Combine this with Patrick making sure Kat doesn’t pass out, and showing his real emotions, and you’ve got a winner.
9. Teacher Take Down
What is it about the adults in this film? “Someday you’re gonna get bitch slapped, and I’m not gonna do a thing to stop it.” A sentence I’m sure every teacher in history has wanted to say. The staff at this school certainly don’t have a problem putting the students down, which makes for a questionable standard of child treatment, but also hilarious movie moments for us. I could watch Mr Morgan role his eyes at students all day.
10. The Sport Field Sing-along
Saving the best till last! Arranging the school marching band to play Frankie Valli, while you serenade the subject of your affections, while running away from school security – this is where the bar has been set, boys! I cannot emphasise how wonderful this scene is and how gorgeous Heath Ledger was while doing it.
What was your favourite part of the movie? Let us know in the comments below.