VIDEO: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

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Sursum Ursa reviews 10 Things I Hate About You, the High School AU based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Who’d have thought such a crappy play could make such an awesome film? In today’s episode: A Party Also Known As An Orgy, Allison Janney, Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ye Olde Butchered English. Enjoy!Sursum Ursa reviews

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  • Guest

    Please forgive an Ugly American moment, but as I’ve been enjoying all of your videos, I’ve also been trying to place your accent, and I can’t quite make up my mind, so am I really wide of the mark of I guess Welsh?

    • Guest

      Oh my mistake. I didn’t know you were Scandinavian until now.

      • She’s not; she’s Northern Irish.

        • FullofQuestions1

          Wow, I wouldn’t have guessed that- as a dumb American, I suck at placing accents.

          • Jill Bearup

            I am indeed Northern Irish. So geographically speaking, you weren’t so far away after all.

            (The Scandinavian on staff is Sofie Liv, she’s Danish.)

  • FullofQuestions1

    I still need to see this movie in whole; I saw part of it during my Heath Ledger binge after seeing the Dark Knight. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that they’re the same person.

    This is your least favorite Deceit as Conflict plot? You need to see more Disney Channel original films.

    • FullofQuestions1

      Although that’s only if you want to see worse Deceit as Conflict plots- if you want sanity, I would not recommend Disney Channel original films.

      • Jill Bearup

        Oh, no, I meant that Deceit As Conflict is just my least favourite kind of plot! This is actually an example of it that I don’t mind. (Disney Channel original movies…thanks for the memories)

        I like Roman Holiday, for example, even though it’s a film about two people who lie to each other. But to be honest, Roman Holiday is not actually a Deceit As Conflict plot at all. The deceit is the springboard for the plot, and provides a lot of the humour, but the conflict is people from two different worlds falling in love.

  • Cristiona

    Taming is somewhat odious, yes, but it’s also, well, old. I’ve never been one to solely judge older art through a modern lens and my views on gender roles don’t apply to a 500 year old play. And yes, it was out of line back then too, which is why I’m pretty sure that Bill’s tongue was firmly planted in cheek, and that it was to be done with a thick coat of irony and insanity. Or, when you consider that the entire thing is, supposedly, being made up on the spot as part of a giant practical joke being played on some poor tinkerer, then everything gets even more farcical and becomes a matter of improv gone wrong as opposed to anything more sinister.

    I also think it has some nice word-play in it, and the 1980 version with John Cleese is something to be seen. He’s completely off the rails as Petruchio.

    • Jill Bearup

      Excellent points, all. I think the real problem with the play is that it hits all of my Do. Not. Want. buttons simultaneously. And though I know it’s (probably, unless it’s actually just Bill’s revenge fantasy against nagging wives coated with irony to make it more palatable) not meant to be taken seriously, the loss of agency + violent relationship + psychological abuse sends it straight into Dude, Not Funny! territory rather than, ‘This is so farcical I cannot take it seriously’.

      That said, John Cleese makes everything better, so I shall definitely go check that version out. :)

  • MephLord

    I guess being Canadian, I think we focus more on Shakespeare literature than our own (does anyone else read Margaret Atwood, Farlay Mowat or Lucy Maud Montgomery?). It’s not a fault internationally as no one else controls our institutions, but the face that Never Cry Wolf isn’t even recognized in Canada is pretty damn sad as its a great movie and wonderful embellishment of so many things. If I ever get the tech to recap that movie I must, because the world needs to appreciate it like I do.

    • FullofQuestions1

      Farlay Mowat and L.M. Montgomery were two of my favorite authors when I was younger, and Anne of Green Gables was how I discovered Megan Follows (one of my favorite actresses).

    • Cristiona

      Ootek says, “Good idea.”

      I never read the book, but I did see the movie when I was… much, much younger, but it was a striking story.

  • Garferty

    I’m really enjoying your reviews. Just sayin’.

    PLEASE tell me the Women: Know Your Limits! has something to do with Harry Enfield & Chums? Or have I missed out on an internet meme?

    • Jill Bearup

      Thanks! And you’re right, it’s Harry Enfield.

      “Overeducation leads to ugliness, premature aging, and beard growth!”

      “Oh, I don’t know anything about the gold standard, I’m afraid, but I do like kittens. They’re so soft and furry…”



  • Topio1

    Do not point your lighting to a reflective material behind your head. Other than that nice review.

  • Matthew K.

    I LOVE this movie. My wife hates it, but I think I’ll always have a soft spot for it. As teenage rom-coms go, at least it’s not one of of the many 90s movies that were aimed at horny teenagers and set out to reassure us that no matter how much of a loser you are, you can get laid – or randomly show us some boobs to make sure they have our attention.

  • Cecil_Trachenburg

    Gah! Has it really been a month? I meant to watch this sooner. Anyhoo, better late than never.

    Loooooooove 10 Things. It is filled with goodness. Larry Miller, Julia Stiles, Larisa Oleynik, and of course the pre-od Heath Ledger. It is genuinely charming and funny with some great bits that never really feel old even though it is now well over a decade old. (even the Letters to Cleo covers of Cheap Trick remain fun)

    One thing that always got me was that the school in the movie was real. Good grief! That thing was HUGE. You could have fit about 10 of my high school’s in there.

    Anyway, to your review. Very much enjoyed. Glad to see you pointing out the differences between the play and the movie. Also glad to see you enjoying the movie and not trashing it for being such a departure from the play.

    Oh and I didn’t like the tv show either. I thought it was going to be fun but it felt incredibly shallow and annoying.

  • Strand

    Definitely one of the best teen movies/shows I’ve ever seen (along with the John Hughes stuff, Daria and Freaks and Geeks). Sweet, charming and very intelligent without overly-exploiting pre-superstar Ledger or Gordon-Levitt. First saw it in high school as part of the English curriculum (was quite new back then) and even an all-boys’ cohort universally loved it.