So what is this one about?
Remaking "The Taming of the Shrew" as a teen romantic comedy, 10 Things I Hate About You puts a fresh spin on the tale, updating it to a modern high school setting. Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) is forbidden from dating until her older sister, Katarina (Julia Stiles), finds a boyfriend. But Katarina isn't even in the hunt, so Bianca has her work cut out.Simple enough, right?
(thanks Netflix, for that concise description!)
And how much did I pay to watch?
I actually watched this on TV. Normally I would never review a movie that I watched on tv, especially not one that I watched on My20 (why isn't it just called Paramount, or whatever it was called, anymore?) Movies on basic cable are always edited weirdly (this one was), but, since I have seen this one a hundred times, and I had the dvd upstairs (I was tempted to go upstairs and put it on because the commercials were irking me) I figured I could cope with basic cable's editing.
So, because it was on tv, I paid nothing. But you know, I had been thinking about watching this lately. And when one of the movies you really like is on tv its like some weird affirmation that the movie actually is good, and even though you weren't going to watch it on dvd the fact that it is on tv shows you that the movie gods want you to watch it. (Now I sound crazy, har)
And what did I think?
One thing I love about movies--like certain songs--is that they can transport you back to specific times and places. For example, 10 Things transported me back to senior year of high school. We did The Taming of the Shrew and Kiss Me Kate as the fall and spring plays. We had on 10 Things constantly in the drama room.
It was so bizarre to watch this at my house, as a 25 year old, and be so deja vu about the whole thing. Especially the music. The music was like being in a 90s time warp. I heard songs that I completely forgot existed, and yet, once I heard them I immediately remembered the last time I'd heard them. (I remember listening to the 10 Things soundtrack on my and Lori's "Spring Break Virginia Road Trip 2001)
Back to the movie though. Teen movies are another genre of film that I tend to have very little patience for. Where romantic comedies are targeted at idiot women who think life always has a happy ending, Teen-flicks are marketed towards and audience that is too stupid to realize how ridiculous the movie they are watching actually is. But, there are a few exceptions in the teen-flick category and they are the ones that are either moderately intelligent or poke fun at the entire genre. I know this will be shocking but Not Another Teen Movie is actually really smart and funny (though it still has a very crass aspect which I have come to expect from the genre.)
10 Things, being an interpretation of a Shakespeare story already gets high marks from me in the intelligence factor. I only vaguely remember the other Julia Stiles Shakespeare movie O but I think I thought it was relatively smart too. This movie is absolutely a teen-flick, but because it has the underlying Shakespeare component that keeps it from seeming too brain-dead and formulaic.
Plus, I played Katherine in the Taming of the Shrew and there is another Julia playing her in 10 things I hate about you. She was bitchy, independent, and women's lib-y and how could teenage me not see herself so much in that character?
So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Sometimes you like movies that aren't that great because they strike some sort of chord in you. You just like them. The just make you feel good. 10 Things is only a little better than the average teen movie, but I really like it anyway. It is a good escapist film, helping you think about something else for 90 minutes.
It is certainly not worthy of a 10, but it is much better than a 5. I will give in an 8 (the extra .5 coming from my fond memories of this one)