10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOUPG-13
Strictly for kids, 10 Things I Hate About You is a routine comedy lifted from William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and dropped into a typical Washington State high school attended by a familiar gaggle of lively, multicultural teens.
Julia Stiles is Katarina Stratford, the 'heinous bitch' of the pack who won't date. Her self-imposed truncated social life impacts adversely on younger sis Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), who can't go out on dates unless Katarina does. Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) is the mysterious, brooding high-school hunk eventually bribed into wooing Katarina. Cameron James (Joseph-Gordon Levitt) is the likeable lad who longs for Bianca but must compete with Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), the self-involved, rich, part-time model who funds Patrick's courtship.
Both character names and plot points are true to the Shakespeare play, but 10 Things is a routine exercise in teen-targeted silliness. Even production values are sub-par, as the print often looked grainy and either under- or over-color-saturated. There are some witty bits (one student dubs going out with Katarina 'extreme dating'), some engaging performances (Levitt and David Krumholtz are standouts) and a nifty soundtrack, but 10 Things is strictly for the underage Cliff's Notes crowd.