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10 Things I Hate About You

Capitalizing on the recent phenomenon of movies about teenagers for teenagers, director Gil Junger and writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith refurbish Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, updating the story of two rival sisters (one nasty, one nice) by making them Seattle high school students, who, like, are sooo different. Siblings Kat and Bianca Stratford (Julia Stiles and Larisa Oleynik) couldn't be more at odds, with younger sis Bianca wishing her dad would let her date boys, while her elder is only interesting in arguing with her English teacher, reading The Bell Jar, and getting accepted to Sarah Lawrence. In order to keep Bianca under control, her dad (Larry Miller) says she can date — but only when her bitchy riot grrrl sister decides to go out with boys. Like, that will never happen. Leave it to one of Bianca's suitors to hire social castoff Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to get Kat's panties in a twist. Of course, the cynical Aussie longhair initially agrees to pursue her for the cash, but before long the pair discover that, well, they sorta like each other, y'know. While uneven at points (and somewhat less entertaining than the Pygmalion-rehash She's All That), 10 Things I Hate About You bubbles with youthful energy and offers a few gags in the thoroughly predictable plot (must all of these films end at the prom?). Both Stiles and Ledger are likable screen presences, and despite precious little screen time, the dependable Larry Miller is in top form. Good transfer, DD 5.1, trailer.
—JJB



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