10 Things I Hate About You (1999) is not an original story. For one, its loosely based on the Shakespeare play “The Taming of the Shrew”. But also, the general plot is used in a lot of movies. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Guy goes on date with unpopular girl on a bet/dare/favor. He starts to actually fall for her. She finds out why he went out with her in the first place. Girl breaks up with guy. Guy gets girl back with a large declaration of love. It’s a pretty standard plot of most high school/teen romance movies. But at the end of the day, who cares how original the idea is. This version is pretty charming.
When it comes to 10 Things I Hate About You, you have a choice. Hate it for its outdated and slightly problematic plot or you can love it for how charming it is. You can hate it because Heath Ledger looks nothing like a teenager and doesn’t even try to hide his accent or you can love it because Heath Ledger looks nothing like a teenager and doesn’t even try to hide his accent. You can hate it because it has the overused rich kid bully character or you can love it because that kid gets punched at the end and its so very satisfying. You can hate it because the school hires a SKA BAND to play at the prom or you can love it because that’s the most ‘90s thing ever. You could hate the movie because the school they go to looks like a castle but is also somehow a public school which doesn’t make sense or you could love it because it doesn’t make sense and that’s just fun. There is a lot that you could probably hate about this movie. But I just find it incredibly charming. Maybe it’s the actors? Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, and Allison Janney. That’s a pretty charming cast.
Either way, the movie is currently on Disney+. You can decide for yourself if the movie is bad or not. But before you do, I’ll just leave you with this scene. Notice the charm.