1999, Movies

10 Things I Hate About You (1999, Gil Junger)

I joined IMDB at age 16, if I remember correctly, rating anything and everything. For much of my late teens and into my early twenties, I would even rate movies I had only seen a scene or two of. I would watch part of a movie on TV (not necessarily the beginning), decide it was shit, and then give it a bad rating on IMDB. I did this possibly hundreds of times out of the roughly 5,000 ratings I have on that site. Sometimes those ratings may have been justified (in the case of terrible made-for-tv films and softcore porn) but oftentimes they were based on what I thought I should like and dislike – i.e. who I thought I was supposed to be as a self-described ‘movie snob.’ One of these movies was 10 Things I Hate About You.

Because though I had rated it 5/10 back when I was 20 or something, I watched it the other night and realized that I had seen maybe 5 minutes of it (or maybe a few minutes of it here, a few minutes of it there). I certainly had not seen most of it, and didn’t remember who was who in the plot compared with The Taming of the Shrew, which I subsequently read. For example: I didn’t remember that Joseph Gordon Levitt was in this movie. How could I have possibly seen it, then?

This is a pretty funny movie. I laughed out lout multiple times and was surprised at the slapstick aspect. Though the plot feels paint-by-numbers at this point – because, well, this story has been done-to-death – at least this one is an outright adaptation, rather than being loosely inspired by the play. Though I find aspects of romantic comedy unbearably corny, those aspects in this movie were outweighed by the comedy, for me. (There was a good balance, too, as it mostly stays funny throughout, instead of giving over entirely to the romance of it all.)

I will say there are a number of plot-holes, some of which are not Shakespeare’s fault. For example: if their father is so controlling, how is Kat going to concerts? But the movie is funny enough, and moves along quickly enough, that you don’t really care.

Anyway, teenage me was wrong, whether he watched the movie or not. (Not the last time you will hear that.)


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