Tag line : How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.

Romeo, Oh Romeo, Get Out Of My Face.

They’re spitefully romantic

I burn, I pine, I perish!

Why I watched it : Apparently it’s cult in the US. It is supposed to be THE movie for teenagers. And last summer, as every summer, when the sad time of series finales comes in and our beautiful TV set finally gets a well-deserved break, comes the time of summer series introducing one based on this movie. Having nothing better to do I think to myself that I will give it a chance but only after having watched the movie.

Who is in it :

Director : Gil Junger

Written by Karen McCullah Lutz & Kristen Smith (and William Shakespeare)

Patrick Verona : the late Heath Ledger through his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight (amazing interpretation by the way ! but more on that later)

Kat Stratford : Julia Stiles (whom we’ve seen in the  Jason Bourne trilogy)

Cameron James : a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt (which you might have noticed in Inception lately … Still have to see that one btw).

Michael : David Krumholtz (Numbers)

Walter Stratford : The dad is played by the hilarious Larry Miller in both the movie and the TV show (which I think is the best idea the show creator could ever have had !).

What it is : Romantic comedy for teenagers

What it is about : Loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Kat is a young feminist who has no interest whatsoever in dating, to the great despair of her little sister Bianca, who is only allowed to date if Kat does. If Joey wants to date little Bianca, and therefore win his bet, he needs to find a boyfriend for Kate, and pays Patrick Verona to do so. The plan gets complicated when Patrick befriends Cameron who is in love with Bianca.

What I liked about it : 10 thing of course !

1.    The cast… so many (young) talents ! The cast director really had an eye for it !

2.    The characters are complete. Everything they do is justified and/or brings something to the story. Especially Kat’s dad, he’s just hilarious. Also the High School’s counselor is great. Having her write an erotic roman while at school and Kat helping her is pretty gutted and Ledger “flirting” with her is also quite funny (and weirdly appropriate… for his character!). I also particularly like her “Listen Kat… (looks at her cup with cats on it and points to it) Cat !!!” … okay it’s better when you see it.

3.    The photography : The images are beautiful.

4.    The soundtrack (more on that below).

5.    The lit teacher’s rap while reciting Shakespeare !

6.    The small things that do not bring anything to the story but are hilarious : How bianca lets go of her arrow in gym class and it lands in her teacher’s butt, Patrick piercing a hole in Cameron’s French book and how he tries to go through his tutoring with Bianca despite the hole

7.    The dialogues and witty comebacks. “You can’t just buy me a guitar every time you screw up, you know? Yeah, I know. But then, you know, there’s always drums, and bass, and maybe even one day a tambourine.” !!!!

8.    The short romance between “William Shakespeare” and Kat’s friend, Mandella.

9.    The story itself. It’s original, smart and well written.

10.  The “10 things I hate about you” poem (especially “It even makes me rhyme”)

Quotes : Mr Stratford : “Listen, I’m down, I’ve got the 411, and you are not going out and getting jiggy with some boy, I don’t care how dope his ride is!… Momma din’t raise no fool.’’

Steeve : “ Mr. Morgan, is there any chance we could get Kat to take her Midol *before* she comes to class?” / Teacher : “Someday, you gonna get bitch-slapped and I’m not gonna do a thing to stop it.”

Kat : “[after purposefully crashing into a car] Whoops.” / Mr Startford: “Whoops ? My insurance does not cover PMS !”

(A crowd of high school kids plan to take over the “Cheese & Wine” party for future MBAs only and ring the bell) “Oh that must be Nigel with the brie !”

Trivia : Some lines are quotes from Shakespeare’s work.

Cameron’s name, Cameron James, is a play on the name of a famous director, James Cameron.

The scene in which Kat reads the “10 Things” poem was the first and only take, according to the DVD extras. Kat’s tears towards the end of the poem were not planned.

Some names on the board at the entrance of the detention class are names of the crew : Tom Fanger for Ross Fanger (Unit production manager), Brett Caroll for the first assistant editor, or Mark Chernov for Jeffrey Chernov (Executive producer)

Soundtrack : The“angry girl music of the Indie Rock persuasion” and “chicks who can’t play their instruments” goes great with Kat’s character (the opening music is Bad reputation by “” which settles the mood perfectly). Ledger’s interpretation of Can’t take my eyes off of you is perfectly integrated in the movie and is quite funny (and of course very romantic ! It IS Heath Leger here… This passage explains a lot the infatuation for Brodeback Mountain and the tears shed at the time of his death). The end credits on “What I like about you” by Letters to Cleo is just the perfect closure.

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