Cult favorite 90’s movie emphasizes the 10 things a girl hates about a boy she loves


Beatrice Loo, Entertainment Editor

Based on the Shakespearean play The Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You is a modern version of the play that depicts the many aspects of a teenager’s life: love, relationships, trust, popularity, stereotypes and high school drama.

Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a new sophomore student at the high school and once he sees the wealthy, pretty, and popular sophomore named Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) he makes it a goal to date her, blinded by her personality by love. Bianca’s father does not allow her to date until her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles), who is in her senior year of high school, does. Kat could not care less about boys or popularity and is happy to be alone and focused on college. In the meantime, Cameron and his friend make a plan to find Kat a boyfriend so that he can date Bianca.

From the beginning of the movie, the audience gets a clear view of how Kat views life – she doesn’t care about any high school experiences and she highly desires to go to the East Coast for college. Her strict father does not want her to leave, although she makes it clear she is ready to go. On the other hand, Bianca is stuck on her high school fantasies such as going to parties and hanging out with her dream boy. Two polar opposites are constantly on each other’s last nerves throughout the film. While many teenagers today admire Kat’s mindset, many others are similar to Bianca, focused on the present and trying to make the most out of their high school years.

I tremendously admire Kat in several aspects. She is focused on education, has her priorities straight, and knows where she wants to be and where she wants to attend college. Kat is content and confident in not only herself but also in being as independent as she is. Along with that, her entire aura easily makes her one of my favorite film characters, including her outfits – which definitely embrace the 90’s look – and hobbies. While many of her classmates see her as aloof, intimidating, and unapproachable, really, she has a sensitive heart and does genuinely care about others. She is beautiful on the inside and out.

Although Bianca sees her older sister as a dull low-lifer, little does she know that Kat had been in her place before, and it explains why she is so sheltered now. Never did Kat bother telling Bianca this until she felt the time was right, and once she did, Bianca was still upset.

Very much of the audience’s dislike for Bianca stems from her selfishness, specifically regarding when the boy who fell head over heels for her was too often overlooked and used by her. After watching the movie multiple times, I reasonably side with the Bianca opponents. She is stubborn and immature when Kat tries to advise her of things that she’ll regret, even though she failed to understand what made Kat the way she is.

Cameron fluently learns French and attempts to find Kat a boyfriend because of how much he likes Bianca, and she ignores that until the end of the movie when Cameron realizes how selfish she is. Although many would hope and assume that Cameron would be sick of Bianca’s games by then, he immediately resumes liking her when she “redeems” herself to him.

One very favored character in the movie is Patrick (Heath Ledger), the boy Kat ends up falling for – unexpectedly and against her will. Patrick is the mysterious boy whom most of the school fears, and who is always alone. Multiple rumors spread about him yet people are too scared to ever ask him about it. He doesn’t care about dating, or even school, but once he finds out he will get paid to date Kat, he participates and falls in love with her by mistake. And once they both fall in love with each other, Patrick has to keep this secret from her while genuinely liking her at the same time.

Cameron’s character represents how loyal, thoughtful, and naïve one is when doing something for the person they love. Kat’s character represents independence, knowledge, and what it’s like to open up a little more. Bianca’s character represents carelessness, and how one learns to fix their mistakes. Patrick’s character represents how one can have fun yet hurt others at the same time.

In the end, the movie beautifully portrays a confusing yet exciting story of the lives of high school students who all care about each other in some way, yet some with different intentions. It immediately captures the audience’s emotions with feelings that are not just love. After all, the movie is named 10 Things I Hate About You.

Out of these popular options, which is your favorite 90’s movie and why?


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