10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Even though it has already been years since 10 Things I Hate About You first hit the cinemas, it still continues to be one of the best films within the teen high school romance genre. With a classic Shakespeare tale at its core, a catchy soundtrack and a convincing cast, the film is without a doubt still a must-see for any chick flick fan. Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) is one of the prettiest and most popular girls at Padua High School, but she is forced to deal with a strict family rule that forbids her from dating until her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) finds herself a boyfriend first. Since Kat is the complete opposite of Bianca (an indie rock fan with a deep hate for anything male), this doesn't seem likely to happen anytime soon. Two guys have their eyes set on taking Bianca to the prom; pretty boy Joey and the shy Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). They come up with a plan to pay bad boy Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to win over Kat's heart, so one of them can finally ask Bianca out. Yet, of course these kind of games, in true Shakespearean love story style, never work out the way you expect them to...

At the end of the 1990s, the high school romance film genre became really popular with films like Never Been Kissed and She's All That. 10 Things I Hate About You follows in this mode and is one of the best of its kind. The film, which was directed by Gil Junger who also worked on TV series such as Dharma & Greg and Blossom, is inspired by Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and focuses on a story that might not be incredibly original but still speaks to people. The characters are interesting and portrayed by great actors such as Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, all at the start of their film careers. I'd also like to specifically mention the catchy and great soundtrack of the film, which fits the story perfectly. Overall, 10 Things I Hate About You is one of those feel-good and thoroughly entertaining high school flicks, with a convincing cast, good storyline, and great music.

Movie reviewed by Jody Hoekstra

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