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10 Things I Hate About You

Promotional poster
Directed by Gil Junger
Produced by Andrew Lazar
Written by Karen McCullah Lutz
Kirsten Smith
Starring Julia Stiles
Heath Ledger
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Larisa Oleynik
David Krumholtz
Andrew Keegan
Larry Miller
Music by Richard Gibbs
Cinematography Mark Irwin
Editing by O. Nicholas Brown
Distributed by Touchstone Pictures
Release date(s) March 31, 1999
Running time 97 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $16 million
Gross revenue $53,478,166

10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American romantic comedy film. It is directed by Gil Junger and stars the late Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, and Larry Miller. A loose adaptation of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew set in a modern American high school, the screenplay was written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith.

The film's title is a reference to a poem written by the film's female lead to describe her bittersweet romance with the male lead. The film was released March 31, 1999, and it was a breakout success for stars Stiles and Ledger.[1][2][3] The film marks the directing debut of Junger.



Cameron James, a new student at Padua (Stadium High School in Tacoma, Washington), is given a tour of the school by Michael Eckman, who is an AV geek and former leader of a clique of future MBAs. Michael provides Cameron with information on the school’s various cliques. During the tour, Cameron spots the beautiful and popular Bianca Stratford and is immediately smitten with her. Michael warns that Bianca is shallow, conceited, and worst of all, not allowed to date. Michael does, however, inform Cameron that Bianca is looking for a French tutor.

At the Stratford residence, Bianca’s outcast older sister Kat receives a letter of acceptance to Sarah Lawrence College. Her protective father, Walter, is distraught by the news, as he wants Kat to attend college nearby. Kat distracts her father by revealing that Bianca was given a ride home from school by Joey Donner. Bianca begs her father to allow her to date, but to no avail. Kat's aversion to dating prompts the father to come up with a new rule: Bianca can only date if Kat is dating.

Cameron starts tutoring Bianca, and she informs him of her father’s rule after Cameron makes many failed attempts to ask her out. This news motivates Cameron and Michael to set out to find a boy who is willing to date Kat.

Cameron suggests Patrick Verona, an outcast who is just as ill-tempered as Kat. Cameron tries asking Patrick for his assistance, but Patrick scares him off. Michael then poses the idea to Joey, also attempting to date Bianca, to pay Patrick to take Kat out. Patrick agrees, but Kat, however, wants nothing to do with Patrick. Cameron and Michael finally explain their situation to Patrick and inform him that Bogie Lowenstein is throwing a party (this is actually a plot by Michael to get revenge, as a rumor from Bogie had got him kicked out of their clique). Cameron and Michael spread rumors around school that Bogie's party will have free beer and dancing, although it is actually a small private gathering.

At the party, Kat tells Joey to stay away from her sister. Joey brags that he cannot guarantee she'll stay away from him. Kat gets upset and begins drinking, leading her to dance drunkenly on a table. Meanwhile, Cameron discovers that Bianca was using him to find a date for Kat so that Bianca could date Joey.

Cameron decides to stop trying to date Bianca, but Patrick convinces him to go for it. Bianca asks Cameron for a ride home after discovering Joey’s true character. Cameron drops her off and tells her that he really likes her and was very disappointed in her. At that point Bianca kisses Cameron. Patrick brings Kat home, and she then tries kissing Patrick. He suggests they should do that some other time, hurting Kat’s feelings.

The next day at school, Patrick publicly sings "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" (with the school's marching band providing backing music) to Kat in front of everyone asking her forgiveness, landing him in detention. Kat gets him out of detention by "flashing" the soccer coach. Kat and Patrick spend the day together, and they both realize that they truly do like each other. Patrick, motivated by Joey's bribe of $300, asks Kat to the prom. However, she is suspicious of his motives and they get into a fight.

Bianca tries to convince her father to let her go to the prom, but he refuses, since Kat isn’t going. Bianca confronts Kat. Kat then reveals that she dated Joey and they had sex, mostly because everyone else was doing it. However, when Kat told Joey that she wasn't ready for sex and did not want to do it again, he immediately broke up with her. Even though she forbade Joey to tell anyone of their one time together or else she would tell all the cheerleaders how "tiny" his private thing is, Kat still felt immense rejection, thus spurring her to not do anything ever again just because everyone else was doing it and distanced herself from her peers.

Bianca and Kat end up going to the prom with Cameron and Patrick, respectively. Joey is furious to learn that Bianca has gone to the prom with Cameron, and confronts Patrick about the "arrangement" in front of Kat. Kat blows up at Patrick and leaves. Joey subsequently confronts Cameron about manipulating the 'deal' for himself, but after he punches Cameron, Bianca hits Joey three times herself (once for "making [her] date bleed", once for her sister, and once for her), leaving him curled up in pain on the floor with a broken nose and a black eye.

The next morning, Bianca thanks Kat for going to prom and the sisters make up. Kat's father allows her to go to Sarah Lawrence. At school, Kat reads a poem which she wrote for English class, titled "10 Things I Hate About You" (although it contains 14 things she hates about Patrick). While reading the poem, she reveals (in front of the entire class) how hurt she was by what Patrick did and how much she really cares about him ("But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all"). Patrick is shown to be touched by her revelation. In the parking lot, Kat finds a guitar Patrick bought her with the money Joey paid him, and he admits that he messed up their deal by falling for her. Kat forgives Patrick and the two kiss and make up.

Cast of characters

  • Julia Stiles as Katerina "Kat" Stratford: The female protagonist and the "shrew" in the movie. Kat is a proud, unsociable, nonconforming feminist who listens to riot grrrl music and reads books like The Bell Jar. She is against dating and often "sneers at the idiocy of teenage social life,". She turned bitter after a relationship with Joey a boy Bianca now likes. The New York Times called this "a breath of fresh air in the stifling materialistic atmosphere of today's Hollywood teenage movies." She was accepted into Sarah Lawrence College.
  • Heath Ledger as Patrick Verona: The male protagonist of the story, described by a The New York Times reviewer as a "rough-edged outsider" and "teenage rebel" who hangs out at a pool hall, smokes cigarettes and drinks. He speaks in a partly Australian dialect, often lapsing into American. When Kat inquires if "the accent" is real, he explains to her that he lived in Australia with his mother until he was ten. He is hired by Joey, Cameron, and Michael to take out Kat so that Bianca can be permitted to date, hence his job is to "tame the shrew." At first, he pursues her for the money but later he falls for her, showing a softer side and transforming into a more sensitive person.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cameron James: As a foil of Patrick, they both pursue a Stratford sister. But while Patrick is seen as intimidating and manly, Cameron is seen as sweet and delicate. He is a new kid, has a father in the U.S. army, and befriends Michael and Patrick.
  • Larisa Oleynik as Bianca Stratford: Kat's younger sister and foil, seen as a "Valley girl" type, wears designer clothes, and is popular in school. She gets caught in a love triangle between Cameron and Joey before realizing Cameron is the man for her.
  • David Krumholtz as Michael Eckman: An AV geek who is delegated the task of showing Cameron around, which he uses as an opportunity to seek revenge on the group of aspiring MBA's which he led until he was kicked out for getting Izods from outlet stores.
  • Andrew Keegan as Joey Donner: A male model, who once bedded Kat and makes a bet that he can do the same with Bianca. Instead of warning Bianca, Kat chooses not to date so that Bianca will not be able to date him. He is deceived by the guys that by paying Patrick to date Kat he will be permitted to date Bianca when really it is Cameron who would be dating her.
  • Larry Miller as Dr. Walter Stratford: An OBGYN and single father. He sets forth the rule that Bianca may not date until Kat does, however the film fails to address the fact that he changes this rule by consistently forbidding Bianca to so much as attend functions where boys may be if her sister does not accompany her. He is an extremely over-protective father, believing that his daughters will have sex, do drugs and drink as soon as they aren't under his supervision.
  • Susan May Pratt as Mandela: A Shakespeare aficionado whom Michael, disguised as William Shakespeare, takes to the prom. She is Kat's best friend.
  • Gabrielle Union as Chastity Church: Bianca's best friend, who goes out with Joey after Bianca dumps him for Cameron at Bogie's crashed party.
  • Daryl Mitchell as Mr. Morgan: The African-American English literature teacher. He's an imposing, racially over-aware teacher who, for the most part, seems to keep his classroom under control.
  • Allison Janney as Ms. Perky: The school's guidance counselor, and a writer of erotic literature. She makes many sexual comments and innuendos throughout the film.
  • David Leisure as Mr. Chapin: A teacher and the girls' soccer coach.
  • Greg Jackson as Scurvy: One of Patrick's friends.
  • Kyle Cease as Bogie Lowenstien: A golf enthusiast (hence his nickname, Bogey) and member of a clique of aspiring MBA's, the new leader after Michael is ejected.
  • Kay Hanley and Michael Eisenstein, members of Letters to Cleo
  • Monique Powell and Brian Mashburn, members of Save Ferris


Exterior shots of principal photography were filmed in Tacoma and Seattle, Washington. The high school's exterior was shot at Tacoma's Stadium High School. Bianca and Kat's home in the film is in North Tacoma. A brief scene takes place at the Fremont Troll in Seattle, Washington. Katarina and Patrick's date takes place at Gas Works Park in Seattle, Washington. The biker bar that Patrick is shown going into is the Buckaroo Tavern in Fremont, Seattle. The exterior shot was taken at Alki Beach.[4] The Padua High School Prom was filmed at Seattle's Century Ballroom as well as at the restored Paramount Theatre. The prom sequence was shot over three 90+°F days in Seattle.[5] The store in which Kat picks out her dream guitar was a Ted Brown Music store in Tacoma, but has since been made into part of the Tacoma School of the Arts.

Costume designer Kim Tillman designed original dresses for Larisa Oleynik and Julia Stiles as well as the period outfits for Susan May Pratt and David Krumholtz. Gabrielle Union's snakeskin prom dress is a Betsey Johnson design. Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's vintage tuxes came from Isadora's in Seattle.[5]

The primary tagline is an allusion to a poem written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning from her Sonnets from the Portuguese collection. ("How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.") Another tagline is a spoof from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet ("Romeo, Oh Romeo, Get Out Of My Face.") and another is a line from The Taming of the Shrew that is spoken in the film by Cameron ("I burn, I pine, I perish!"). The original script was finalized on November 12, 1997.[6]

Release and reception

Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $8,330,681 in 2,271 theaters in the United States and Canada, averaging $3,668 per venue, and ranking number two at the box office (lagging far behind The Matrix). It grossed a total of $38,178,166 in the United States and Canada and $15,300,000 in other territories, about $53,500,000 worldwide. The film had an estimated budget of $16 million and is considered a moderate financial and critical success. On October 12, 1999, the Region 1 DVD was released. In the box office, the film is number ten in teen romance, 18th in high school comedies, and ranked 96th in romantic comedies.[7]


The film received positive feedback from critics. Geoff Andrew from Time Out praised the film's leads, stating "Stiles grows into her character, and Ledger is effortlessly charming".[8] Roger Ebert gave the film two and a half stars out of four, claiming "I liked the movie's spirit, the actors and some of the scenes. The music, much of it by the band Letters to Cleo, is subtle and inventive while still cheerful".[9] Brad Laidman from Film Threat said the film was "Pure of heart and perfectly executed".[10] Ron Wells, another critic from Film Threat expressed "Of all the teen films released this year, this one is, by far, the best".[11]

Awards and nominations

In the year the film was released, the lead actors Gordon-Levitt, Stiles, and Oleynik each received Young Star Award nominations for Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy Film. The movie was nominated for five Teen Choice Awards: Film Breakout Performance (Stiles), Film Choice Comedy, Film Funniest Scene (featuring Krumholtz), Film Sexiest Love Scene (featuring Stiles and Ledger), and Soundtrack of the Year. More notably, the film's casting directors Marcia Ross and Donna Morong won "Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy" at the Casting Society of America in 1999. In 2000, Stiles won the CFCA Award for "Most Promising Actress" for her role as Kat Stratford (tied with Émilie Dequenne in Rosetta) and an MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Female Performance. The same year, Ledger was nominated for Best Musical Performance for the song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."

Television series

On October 8, 2008, ABC Family greenlit the pilot episode of a new half-hour, single-camera comedy series based on 10 Things I Hate About You. Larry Miller is the only actor from the film to reprise his role in the television series. The director of the film, Gil Junger, also directed the pilot of the television series, written and produced by Carter Covington.[12] The show premiered on July 7, 2009.[13]


The soundtrack was released on April 6, 1999 by Hollywood Records. The soundtrack includes music from artists including Sister Hazel, Letters to Cleo, Save Ferris, George Clinton, and Semisonic.

See also


  1. ^ Aames, Ethan. "Julia Stiles on "The Omen"". Cinema Confidential News. June 5, 2006. Retrieved on October 28, 2006.
  2. ^ Eisenbach, Helen. "10 Thing We Love About Julia Stiles". Manhattan File Magazine. January 2000. Retrieved October 28, 2006.
  3. ^ Maher, Kevin. "Heath Ledger- The Accidental Hero". Times Sunday Magazine. October 14, 2006. Retrieved October 28, 2006.
  4. ^ IMDB
  5. ^ a b Write-up on Accessed on 2008-05-24.
  6. ^ Internet Movie Script Database
  7. ^
  8. ^ "10 Things I Hate About You Review. Movie Reviews - Film - Time Out New York". Archived from the original on 2009-09-21. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  9. ^ "Roger Ebert review". Archived from the original on 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  10. ^ "Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat". Archived from the original on 2009-09-21. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  11. ^ "Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat". Archived from the original on 2009-09-21. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  12. ^ Nguyen, Hanh. "ABC Family Greenlights '10 Things I Hate,' 'Ruby' Pilots." October 8, 2008. Retrieved on October 8, 2008.
  13. ^ "ABC Family: 10 Things I Hate About You". Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 

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