Watch 10 things i hate about you

On March 31, 1999, the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You hit theaters, & the world has never quite been the same. It boasts a cast on the cusp of stardom — Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, & Heath Ledger among them, plus Allison Janney as the erotica-writing guidance counselor, just months before The West Wing debuted.

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The film is remembered for more than serving as a breeding ground for a new generation of stars. It’s a pitch-perfect comedy, too. Based loosely on Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew, the movie told the story of two sisters in Seattle, Kat (Stiles) & Bianca (Larissa Oleynik), whose overbearing doctor father forbade them from dating in the fear that they’d come trang chủ knocked up. With her best friend Chastity (Gabrielle Union), Bianca is the school’s queen bee and the locus of attention for the guys, và she desperately wants to lớn date; both greasy-haired hot rod Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) & sweet new guy Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) want khổng lồ be the lucky guy.

Bianca (Larissa Oleynik), Chastity (Gabrielle Union), và Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) at the fateful party in 10 Things I Hate About You. Buena Vista Pictures But Bianca isn’t allowed to date till Kat does. So Cameron and his nerdy new friend Michael (David Krumholtz) hatch a plan to get Joey to hire Patrick Verona (Ledger) to lớn take Kat out. The trouble is that Patrick is the kind of guy who smokes cigarettes in class and is rumored to have eaten a duck alive, beak khổng lồ tail. Và Kat is an angry feminist who would rather do anything than go out with him.

The film holds up wonderfully, đôi mươi years after its debut, not least because it managed to subvert some of the seamier, culture-bound aspects of The Taming of the Shrew — a story about a man badgering his high-spirited wife into submission — và turn them into something contemporary & sharp, without losing the romance.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest teen comedies ever made,’s culture staff decided to talk through what makes it endure so well. Joining the conversation are associate culture editor Allegra Frank & culture reporters Aja Romano, Constance Grady, and Alissa Wilkinson.

Kat, the teenaged feminist

Alissa Wilkinson: For whatever reason, this is one of the few films I distinctly remember watching in college — probably via a pirated file, R.I.P. Turn of the century easy file-sharing networks — and yet I think it took me years to lớn realize it’s a Shakespeare adaptation, even though Taming of the Shrew was of course a play I’d read in high school.

Rewatching it recently, I was struck by how odd that is. It’s not lượt thích it’s hiding it in any way, or even that it’s very subtle (even Clueless, I think, tips its hand less about its source material, Jane Austen’s Emma). I could write it off by blaming my own inattention to obvious detail, of course.

But I think part of what made me miss the archetype was that 10 Things I Hate About You feels so much like a movie of its moment, of 1999. I suppose you could say that of any movie, but the quips, the clothing, và especially the music make it feel extremely of that year, when I was in high school.

Not only that, but I think that, rhythm-wise, this one’s hard khổng lồ beat. Sometimes it’s fast-paced; sometimes it’s slow & reflective; sometimes it’s outright sappy. But it hits every beat in a way that feels perfectly tuned for a teen romantic comedy. I won’t say it’s Shakespearean, obviously. But it lands its jokes & repartee, as well as its more tender moments, in ways that feel a tad reminiscent of the Bard.

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It’s quite a movie khổng lồ rewatch. It’s been a few years. And now the movie is turning 20. So when you look back on it, what vày you think about?

Aja Romano: I have a lot of thoughts about Julia Stiles, but before I get to them, I’d like to touch on your point about 10 Things as an adaptation, because I think one of the most remarkable things about this film — which is honestly remarkable in so may ways — is the way in which it deftly balances a deep awareness of its source material with an energetic rejection of that source. The comparison to Clueless is significant here not just because of how contemporary both films feel (Clueless almost feels lượt thích an alternate reality), but because of the ways they grapple with their contentious forebearers. The Taming of the Shrew & Emma both crucially pivot around their heroine’s absolute mortification at the hands of her lãng mạn foil, A Man Who Teaches Her A Lesson About Herself — but where Clueless chooses to lớn embrace & massage this moral by making everyone involved ridiculous, 10 Things decides to turn the anger of Shakespeare’s heroine inward in order khổng lồ grapple with his misogyny head-on.

Julia Stiles plays Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You. Buena Vista Pictures The most amazing thing about Kat khổng lồ me is that she’s not just a ’90s feminist who’s ready lớn personally combat all the injustices women have been battling for centuries; she is herself an updated version of a character who’s personally born that injustice. Kate the Curst is the quintessential example — the trope-namer, if you will — of a female character who’s managed lớn overcome a misogynistic framing as the Shrill Woman, by enduring through the centuries as a stealth symbol of women’s independence and unconquerable fire.

And even knowing this, nothing prepared me, the first time I saw 10 Things đôi mươi years ago, for how electrifying I found Julia Stiles’s Kat viciously asserting her right lớn be a bitch in a world that was prepared khổng lồ demonize her no matter what. That she was still just a teenager made it even more radical khổng lồ me at the time that she was both so fully conscious of the social rules she operated within và so fully prepared lớn reject them. The ease with which she repudiated both centuries of Shakespearean dogma & decades of high school rom-com tropes continues khổng lồ feel lượt thích something of a miracle. There’s just no other heroine lượt thích her.

Constance Grady: 10 Things is one of the only successful adaptations of Taming of the Shrew that I know of, and plenty of people have tried khổng lồ adapt it. It’s an impossible play. It’s brutally misogynistic: In Shakespeare’s original, Petrucchio deprives Katherine of food, sleep, and clothing until she agrees with whatever he says, essentially brainwashing her with abuse. But it also has so much force & fire, & the courtship battle between Katherine & Petrucchio seems so sexy at the beginning, that you understand exactly why so many directors & adaptors have tried to lớn keep this play around. Isn’t there some way, you can hear them thinking, to lớn make this story fun? After all, a heroine as fierce & funny as Katherine deserves nothing less.

Katherine wants so ferociously, và as a result puns so viciously, that she became one of Shakespeare’s most indelible heroines apparently against Shakespeare’s will. If his later heroines Rosalind & Beatrice & Viola are Katherine’s descendants — & there’s a solid argument to lớn be made that they are — then in the long run, Katherine was the one who tamed her male author, not the other way around.

What makes 10 Things work is that it starts from the premise that Kat is correct khổng lồ be angry. Her world is gross & misogynistic, và Kat has the tragic Joey “Eat Me” Donner backstory khổng lồ prove it. Her anger is more than justified, & what makes Patrick worthy of her is that he respects her for her rage instead of trying lớn tame it out of her.

The only case in which Kat is shown to be wrong, in fact, is when she treats Bianca with disdain rather than sympathy, và lies khổng lồ her rather than tell her the truth about the world. Their eventual rapprochement becomes one of the movie’s loveliest grace notes, & it’s part of what makes the movie’s feminism hold up. As far as 10 Things is concerned, Kat is right about everything except for the internalized misogyny that makes her despise her girly-girl little sister. Feminists are right to lớn be angry, is the idea, but also girls should tư vấn other girls. We could bởi way worse with our teen movie lessons in 2019.

Patrick (Heath Ledger) và Kat (Julia Stiles) after paintballing in 10 Things I Hate About You. Buena Vista Pictures Allegra Frank: Constance, your read on Kat — that she is angry, và rightfully so, và not denigrated for it — is something that’s only resonated with me as I’ve grown up and out of my own angry young person phase.

When I was much younger, watching 10 Things I Hate About You all chopped up on cable TV, Kat’s relentless pessimism felt lượt thích a parody of the emotion that I felt so intensely. Và I came into the story without that Shakespearean context, aside from a meager understanding that this was one of those modern, Shakespearean riffs common in the 1990s. So instead, I took 10 Things I Hate About You as another sardonic, untruthful teen movie: where the teen girls are just SO, SO MAD, and HATE BOYS, và then FALL FOR THE BOYS THEY HATE. It rang hollow.

But now that I can better see the forest for the trees, I find her discomfort, her frustration, her distrust of basic high school society to be, if not completely relatable, empathetic. Now that I am a woman who can maturely support other women instead of sneering at their lack of bratty bona fides, relationships like Kat’s with Bianca and with, well, most people in general is something that I appreciate, not judge.

But the one thing I instantly loved and always will? That scene where Heath Ledger sings and dances khổng lồ “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” Please tell me I’m not alone in thinking this is the best part of the movie.