10 Things I Hate About You

Year: 1999
Director: Gil Hunger
Cast: Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, Larry Miller, Allison Janney, Daryl
Apparently a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, this had all the hallmarks of being as banal and boring as the American teen comedies of the pre-American Pie era. Instead, a great script, some sharp jabs, a surprisingly mature outlook and some stand-out characters make it an pleasure to watch. New guy Cameron (Gordon-Levitt) desperately wants to date beautiful Bianca (Oleynik), whose over-protective obstetrician father (played to sarcastic perfection by Miller - the College Dean from The Nutty Professor) won't let her out until her anti-social sister Kat (Stiles) dates too.

A set-up for the nerdy-sweet Cameron to convince school creep (Ledger, giving the strange half-American, half-Australian accent US audiences seem to love but otherwise shining) to take Kat out, leading to them inevitably falling in love. A cute teenage romance, interspersed with some great characterisations. Williams and Janney breathe comic life into some otherwise irrelevant roles, and Stiles plays a militant, intelligent young woman in the vein of Janeane Garofalo's best roles, and to the credit of the script she doesn't lose it all to turn into the prom queen after one swoon.

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