“Alright, wait a minute. No drinking, no drugs, no kissing, no tattoos, no piercings, *no* ritual animal slaughters of any kind. Oh, God, I’m giving them ideas.”
A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” places high school students in the middle of a whole lot of hi-jinx.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Directed by Gil Junger
Written by Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith
There were a lot of great teen comedies that came out of the late-1990s, but I think that this one was easily one of my favorites. The script lovingly adapts a Shakespearian classic and turns it into a modern (well, maybe not modern any more) one with the help of probably the greatest cast assembled in a 90s teen comedy.
I’ve already discussed my admiration for the part LARRY MILLER plays in the film, the father still reeling from a divorce who wants to protect his daughters at any cost. But in the years since this movie came out, so many members of the cast have gone on to do such great things. Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have all left an indelible mark on Hollywood. But it’s one of the movie’s supporting actresses that has had, arguably, the best career since the movie’s release.
For such a small part in the movie, casting Allison Janney as guidance counselor Ms. Perky is a masterstroke. The detached indifference to her students while she focuses on writing her steamy romance novel is something that would be eyeroll-inducing with another actress, but Janney has such a charisma to her that the part becomes a classic bit of comedy.
Ms. Perky IS just a small part of the film, though, and 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU as a whole offers several great bits. The cast really gels perfectly and every interaction seems like they’re having as much fun performing as I am watching.
As far as modern retellings of classic works go, the movie ranks right up there with CLUELESS (based off of Jane Austen’s EMMA) as one of the best.