Movie Review By Monica Sullivan
Unless it's "Kiss Me Kate," "The Taming of the Shrew" invariably flops on the big screen. That may change now that it's called "10 Things I Hate About You," set in Padua High School with a lively young cast, cleverly adapted on spec by Karen McCullough Lutz and Kirsten Smith, and brightly directed by small screen vet Gil Junger. You know the set up from Shakespeare l01. There are these two sisters, Kat (Julia Styles) and Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). Kat is so mean and nasty to everyone that no guy wants her. Bianca is so sweet and pretty that all true guys want her.
In this version, Bianca isn't allowed to go out with guys until Kat does too, and Kat is only interested in leaving home and going to Sarah Lawrence College, plus she hates all the guys in high school, anyway. That is, she hates them until luscious Aussie Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) is paid to pursue her. Joey Donner (Andrew Keeqan) is a cute but dumb dim bulb who shells out 100 bucks daily until Kat agrees to go out with Patrick. Joey is motivated by sheer lust: he wants to go out with Bianca. She, however, also has another suitor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cameron James, who applies to be her French tutor, even though he doesn't know the language.
Will Patrick be able to stand Kat's temper even at 100 bucks a day? Will Kat succumb to Patrick's charms? Will Bianca see through Joey before his money runs out? Will Cameron ever learn more French than his tutee already knows? All will be revealed in this fresh and funny farce that makes splendid use of the castle-like structure of Stadium High School in Tacoma, Washington and the natural beauty of Puget Sound which surrounds it.
© 1999 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 4/1/99
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