10 Things I Hate about You

USA 1999

Film still for 10 Things I Hate about You

Reviewed by Peter Matthews


Our synopses give away the plot in full, including surprise twists.

Padua, a Seattle suburb. New high-school student Cameron is smitten with fellow student Bianca, but her father Walter will only let her date once her shrewish sister Kat starts dating. Cameron resolves to find a boyfriend for Kat and settles on sullen Patrick Verona. Joey Donner agrees to bankroll the romance because he wants Bianca for himself. Kat repels Patrick's advances but Bianca relays information about Kat's taste for him.

Eventually Kat agrees to go with Patrick to a party so Cameron can take Bianca. At the party, Bianca ignores Cameron and goes after Joey. A drunken Kat is rescued by Patrick. Touched, she asks him to kiss her. When he declines, she's mortified. Disillusioned with Joey, Bianca asks Cameron to drive her home and kisses him. Patrick guiltily pockets $300 to escort Kat to the prom. Kat reveals to Bianca that she lost her virginity to Joey, who then ditched her. At the dance, Joey argues with Cameron and Kat overhears Joey talking about the cash paid to Patrick. She leaves hurt and angry. But later in English class, Kat recites a sonnet telling Patrick she can't help loving him. Both sisters end up with their true loves.


In a scene from experienced TV director Gil Junger's 10 Things I Hate about You, an English teacher informs a class that Shakespeare is, "a dead white guy who knows his shit," before assigning his pupils the task of translating a Shakespearean sonnet into contemporary vernacular, resulting in the heartfelt bit of doggerel which gives the movie its title. Real-life mall rats are duly cautioned that what looks to be a standard teen flick is actually a Boring Old Classic in drag. Even worse, this bubblegum The Taming of the Shrew is meant to be good for you, though the screenwriters are smart enough to keep their stabs at youthful edification subliminal. Now and then, a flowery phrase from the original ("I burn, I pine, I perish") surfaces inscrutably amid such homelier locutions as, "remove head from sphincter, then drive." It's doubtful whether this 'reading is cool' subtext will trigger the intended response since in every other respect the movie has the artistic integrity of a Pop Tart. But if Shakespeare can be brought to the post-literate masses only by such clandestine means, The Taming of the Shrew is a logical choice. One of the weakest of the comedies, it gives stage and screen adapters plenty of elbow room to exploit the knockabout potential of the running war between termagant Kate and her bullying pacifier Petruchio. Junger strains to pump up the cartoon aggression with a paintball fight and an archery lesson where a teacher predictably gets it in the butt, yet somehow the requisite hard edge never develops.

10 Things clearly wouldn't have been made without the lucrative example of Clueless, itself based on Jane Austen's Emma. But that film showed more flair in mapping the social niceties of Regency England on to Beverly Hills. The revisionists here are hamstrung by a premise that doesn't ring true even in Shakespeare: the despotic paternal law which prohibits Bianca from dating until her elder sister does. Their solution is to concoct a soggy backstory about their father never being the same since his wife deserted him. This expedient prompts a round of conciliatory hugs at fade-out, as does Kat's climactic shocker that her misanthropy is due to a callous defloration. But the toughest nut to crack remains the antediluvian stance towards the heroine, compelled to eat crow in the play's notorious last scene. No prizes for guessing that Shakespeare's Ur-bitch becomes here a feisty advocate of girl power. Yet a measure of the Bard's conservatism seeps through insofar as this feminist loose cannon is ultimately restored to the value system represented by her high-school prom. Given the core constituency for the movie, its makers plainly recognise on which side their bread is buttered.


Andrew Lazar
Karen McCullah Lutz
Kirsten Smith
Director of Photography
Mark Irwin
O. Nicholas Brown
Production Designer
Carol Winstead Wood
Richard Gibbs
©Touchstone Pictures
Production Companies
Touchstone Pictures presents a Mad Chance/Jaret Entertainment production
Executive Producers
Jeffrey Chernov
Seth Jaret
Jody Hedien
Associate Producer
Greg Silverman
Production Co-ordinator
Denise Heinrich
Unit Production Manager
Ross Fanger
Location Managers
Joseph Daniel Dusek Jr
Peter Allen
Assistant Directors
K.C. Colwell
Darin Rivetti
Sally Sue Beisel
Script Supervisor
Nancy Karlin
Marcia Ross
Donna Morong
Gail Goldberg
Julie Friedman
Lisa Rochette
Heidi Walker
ADR Voice:
Barbara Harris
Camera Operators
Robin Buerki
Steve Koster
Steadicam Operator
Robin Buerki
Special Effects Co-ordinator
William Casey Pritchett
Additional Editor
Skip Collector
Art Director
Gilbert Wong
Set Decorator
Charles M. Graffeo
Scenic Artist
Steven E. Eyrse
Costume Designer
Kimberly A. Tillman
Costume Supervisor
Alexandria Forster
Key Make-up Artist
Mel Berns
Key Hair Stylist
Pauletta Lewis-Irwin
Main Titles Design/Production
The Picture Mill
Buena Vista Imaging
Kevin Kliesch
Richard Gibbs
Executive Music Producer
Ralph Sall
Executive in Charge of Music, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group
Kathy Nelson
Music Editors
Shannon Erbe
Nick South
Score Recordist/Mixer
Robert Fernandez
Music Programmer
Alfonso E. Chavez
"One Week (Remix)" by Ed Robertson, performed by Barenaked Ladies; "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett, Kenny Laguna, Ritchie Cordell, Marty Kupersmith, performed by Joan Jett; "All My Life (Ignorants Remix)" by Rory Bennett, Joel Hailey, performed by K-Ci & JoJo; "Calypso" by Janet English, Damien Whitty, Mark Maher, performed by Spiderbait; "Get Em Outa Here" by Steve Summers, Sprung Monkey, performed by Sprung Monkey; "Sexy Boy" by Nicholas Godin, Jean Benoît Dunckel, performed by Air; "Soar" by Ralph Sall, performed by ATM; "C'Mon" by Greg McKenna, Kay Hanley, Scott Riebling, Michael Eisenstein, Stacy Jones, performed by Letters to Cleo; "Co-Pilot" by Greg McKenna, Scott Riebling, Kay Hanley, Michael Eisenstein, performed by Letters to Cleo; "Rondo Vivace, Piano Concerto #1" by Frédéric Chopin; "Dazz" by Ray Ransom, Edward Irons, Reginald Hargis, performed by Brick; "Word Up" by Larry Blackmon, Tomi Jenkins, performed by Cameo; "Atomic Dog" by George Clinton Jr, Garry M. Shider, David L. Spradley, performed by George Clinton; "Push It" by Herbie Azor, performed by Salt 'N' Pepa; "Just Be Good to Me" by Terry Lewis, James Harris III, performed by The SOS Band; "Hypnotize" by Sean 'Puffy' Combs, Notorious B.I.G., Deric Angelettie, Ron Lawrence, Randy Badazz, Andy Armer, performed by The Notorious B.I.G., contains interpolations from the composition "La Di Da Di" by Ricky Walters, Douglas L. Davis; "Saturday Night" by Marti Sharron, Danny Sembello, Rodney Jerkins, performed by Ta-Gana; "Hold Me Now" by Alannah Currie, Joseph Leeway, Thomas Bailey, performed by The Thompson Twins; "Cruel to Be Kind" by Ian Robert Gomm, Nick Drain Lowe, performed by Letters to Cleo; "War" by Peter Svensson, Nina Persson, performed by The Cardigans; "Can't Get Enough of You Baby" by Denny Randell, Sandy Linzer, performed by The Colourfield; "Wings of a Dove" by Carl Smyth, Graham McPherson, performed by Madness; "The Weakness in Me" by/performed by Joan Armatrading; "New World" by/performed by Leroy; "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio; "FNT" by Dan Wilson, Jacob Slichter, performed by Semisonic; "Your Winter" by Ken Block, Andrew Copeland, Ryan Newell, Jeff Beres, Mark Trojanowski, performed by Sister Hazel; "I Know" containing a sample of "Shout" by Michael Holton, Miré Molnar, Brian Mashburn, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, O'Kelley Isley, performed by Save Ferris; "Can't Stop" by Brian Mashburn, performed by Save Ferris; "Even Angels Fall" by Tom Whitlock, Jessica Riddle, Kim Bullard, Penny Framstead, performed by Jessica Riddle; "I Want You to Want Me" by Rick Nelson, performed by Letters to Cleo
Marguerite Derricks
Michelle Elkin
Production Sound
James Bayard Carey
Re-recording Mixers
Terry Porter
Mel Metcalfe
Dean A. Zupancic
Sound Editors
David Kern
Nils Jensen
Nancy MacLeod
Dialogue Editor
Albert Gasser
Supervising Sound Effects
Donald J. Malouf
Thomas G. Whiting
Jeannette Browning
Doc Kane
Rich Green
Gregg Barbanell
Laura Macias
Scott Weber
Dubbing Recordists
Judy Nord
Jeannette Cremarosa
Stunt Co-ordinator
Ben Scott
Helicopter Pilot
Craig Hosking
Julia Stiles
Katarina 'Kat' Stratford
Heath Ledger
Patrick Verona
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Cameron James
Larisa Oleynik
Bianca Stratford
Larry Miller
Walter Stratford
Andrew Keegan
Joey Donner
David Krumholtz
Michael Eckman
Susan May Pratt
Gabrielle Union
Daryl 'Chill' Mitchell
Mr Morgan
Allison Janney
Ms Perky
David Leisure
Mr Chapin
Greg Jackson
Kyle Cease
Bogey Lowenstein
Terence Heuston
Cameron Fraser
Eric Reidman
audio visual guy
Quinn Maixner
beautiful jock
Demegio Kimbrough
Todd Butler
coffee kids
Dennis Mosley
Bianca Kajlich
coffee girl
Nick Vukelic
drugged-out loser
Benjamin Laurance
wimpy loser
Aidan Kennedy
laughing loser
Jelani Quinn
crying loser
Jesse Dyer
screaming loser
Aaron Therol
detention student
Carlos LaCamara
Heather Taylor
drunken girl
Joshua Thorpe
J.R. Johnson
MBY guy at party
Wendy Gottlieb
Brian Hood
Travis Miller
Ari Karczag
kissing guy
Laura Kenny
Alice Evans
perky girl
Jesper Inglis
Buckaroo bartender
Nick Brown
Monique Powell
Brian Mashburn
Save Ferris singers
Kay Hanley
Michael Eisenstein
Letter to Cleo singers
Buena Vista International (UK)
8,775 feet
97 minutes 31 seconds
BBFC cuts of 2 feet 1 frame
Dolby digital/SDDS/Digital DTS sound
In Colour
Prints by
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2011