Old Lady Movie NightOld-Lady Movie Night: '10 Things I Hate About You'Anne T. Donahue

Winter is here, Christmas chocolate is discounted and there’s no better time than to put on those stretchy pants and set sail on a cinematic delight. At least, that’s how I’m justifying typing with one hand as I stuff Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses into my face with the speed and accuracy of a glutton feasting on Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses. And why should I apologize? If I do that, we must all feel bad for feasting on such delicacies. And if we can’t feast, what else are we going to do on movie night (or day) (or anytime we’d like to treat ourselves)?

So let’s not waste any more time. Odds are that school and/or work and/or more movie watching are starting up again soon, so instead of giving you an intro that rivals The Bell Jar (you’ll understand why I made that reference in a second), let’s talk about what we’re going to see.

This week’s movie is: 10 Things I Hate About You. (Remember? Remember how Kat reads The Bell Jar?)

Because the ’90s rule big time. And Kat Stratford is wicked. And while Reality Bites is fantastic (and we’ll get there, I promise), sometimes you need the “hell yeah!” factor of nine thousand great characters working together in a V-formation of excellence. So without further adieu, let’s head off to Seattle. Where Letters To Cleo are still a band, camouflage tank tops are in, and Adidas pants were a thing.

The ’90s, pals. I’d say they’re back, but did they ever really leave?

1) The 10 Things I Hate About You school is the most beautiful school of all the schools

No, seriously. Do they go to school at a castle? I know that North America never really had “castles” (we’re poseurs, guys), but I think that we can all safely assume that some European lord once came to Seattle, built a castle, left because Kurt Cobain wasn’t born yet and bada-bing: we have the 10 Things I Hate About You school. And maybe you went to school that looked like this castle-school. Maybe you went to a school that was better. But this isn’t about you, guys. This is about none of our high schools looking as nice. (And by “our” I mean “mine”, and by “high school” I mean “high school”/”office”/”apartment”/”car”/”I’m making this about me, aren’t I?”)

2) Michael the “Audiovisual Geek” is cooler than all of us, still

Those outfits, that wit, the fact he didn’t run into the bathroom and cry when Joey Donner drew that something-something on his face. (The other day I cried when I hit my knee off my front door by mistake.) In reality, he’s probably now the EIC of GQ or something. Because that’s a cool thing, right?


*I am too lazy to Google “who is hip right now in media”.

3) Ms. Perky’s book is scand-a-lous

And even though most of us probably didn’t even know what in the world any of those words meant when we first saw this movie, (“Quivering member?! WHAT?!”), we DID know that she was writing about something that she probably shouldn’t have been working on at school. Also, she probably shouldn’t have commented on Patrick Verona’s “bratwurst” because that has lawsuit written all over it. Imagine? Wait, don’t. But actually, how quickly do you think she would be fired today?

3) b) But seriously Allison Janney rules so much.

4) Heath Ledger : (

You were the best and everyone misses you.

5) Joseph Gordon-Levitt made the right choice to cut his hair

Joseph, I am not saying that your hair wasn’t up to par in the ’90s, I am just saying that you made a very good decision to cut it shorter because my 13-year-old heart was very impressed with your ’98 combination of short hair and button-up shirts. Also, good for you for learning French to woo a girl. Was that difficult? I imagine it was. Also, kudos for hanging with Michael the Audiovisual Guy despite him almost wearing a tie to the party. BUT WAIT, I am really getting ahead of myself. (SPOILER ALERT: There is a party and Michael almost wears a tie to it.)

6) Bianca and Kat’s Dad kiiiiind of has a point

Listen, I’m not going to agree with him, but I am agree that if I was delivering babies to teen moms, I would probably also be terrified of anyone that even thought about touching my daughters in a way that wasn’t a high five after deciding that everyone should just be friends. And I’m also not saying that I would do that now, but I am also saying that I would basically be Coach Carr in Mean Girls when he tries to teach sex ed: “Don’t have sex! Or you will get pregnant. And die!”

7) “Where did you come from, Planet Loser?” – “As opposed to Planet ‘Look at me! Look at me!'”

Only one of the greatest pieces of dialogue in cinematic history.

8 ) Cameron asks Bianca out way too early

Remember the time Bianca hadn’t met Cameron and she just wanted to meet her French tutor and then the second thing he ever says to her is, “We could eat French food on Saturday night?” NO, CAMERON. You made a mistake. That would be like going up to the counter at the bank and the teller saying, “How much money would you like to withdrawal?” and you responding “I don’t know, young sir and/or madam – how much do I need to take you out this weekend?” And then the teller screams because you  have frightened her and me and everyone else in the western world.

9) Why does  Joey Donner have so much money?

Is that ever settled? Does he have a trust fund? Is he actually an adult and has a full-time job? Is it from modelling? I really don’t believe it’s all from modelling because he is always at school and never actually modelling, just TALKING about modelling. And you know what they say about people who talk a lot . . . they’re not at their modelling jobs because I think they’re actually liars.

10) What is up with the teachers at this school?

Okay, so we’ve got Ms. Perky who is actually based on me in the future (hey, guys). But then we’ve got the greatest worst English teacher in the world, who probably shouldn’t have pursued a career in teaching because he obviously hates children and/or teenagers and clearly wants to rap. (“I wanna dance!” – Adam Goldberg, Dazed and Confused/the amazing English teacher who actually replaced “dance” with “rap” but it was edited out for time.)

11) Kat’s dad probably should’ve grounded her for maiming Joey’s car

I mean, Joey is obviously Satan. He is actually the devil for real. But despite him hiding his tail and his ears and his Devil goatee under his tiny tank tops and bootcut pants, Kat basically made her Dad pay for Joey being the worst. KAT, IT IS NOT YOUR DAD’S FAULT THAT JOEY IS THE DEVIL. It is your Dad’s fault that he obviously did not seek therapy following his wife’s exit and/or being thrust into a single-parent situation. #RealTalk

12) That flyer scene is so cool

You know exactly what I’m talking about. That part where Michael and Cameron stand at the top of their castle-school staircase and throw 18 000 flyers down 42 flights of stairs and Air plays and EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL IN THE WORLD. You know the James Blunt song ‘You’re Beautiful’? Originally it was called “that flyer scene in 10 Things I Hate About You because I think we all actually cried joy-tears when it happened”.

13) “You don’t buy black lingerie unless you want someone to see it”

Guys, I think that’s a myth. I mean, it’s always nice if someone’s going to see your underwear, but sometimes black is just on sale or it works with the shirt you’re going to wear or you know that your bra strap’s going to show, so it’s just easier to go with black because you can’t see the makeup stains on it like you would with a white bra. Also, this statement basically scarred me because try telling your mom to buy you black Hanes when you’re a baby-teen because “Um … I just think it’s a cool colour, Mom”. Help me.

14) Let’s all go to Club Skunk

How disappointing was it for everyone to turn bar-age and realize that clubs are actually nothing like Club Skunk and/or if you know where they are, can you tell me because I would also like to dance to Letters To Cleo in a live setting, please. And only in 1998, because guys, bars aren’t nearly as magical as they are in this movie. People are dancing! There’s laughter! NO CELL PHONES. Picture walking into anywhere with people having a good time and not being all, “OH, HOLD ON, MY PHONE IS DOING THAT THING WHERE I IGNORE YOU AND PAY ATTENTION TO IT”. Picture it and then take me with you.

15) Gabrielle Union is a terrible friend

Well, “duh alert” times a million, but first she disrespects Mr. Stratford (“Mr. Stratford, it’s just a party!” – “DO NOT PATRONIZE  ME, GIRL,” I would respond angrily while forcing my children to sing like the Von Trapp children). Then she ditches Bianca at the part for Joey “Eat Me” Donner. AND THEN she goes to prom with him despite knowing that he only talked to her best friend so he could “nail her”? ARE YOU KIDDING ME, GABRIELLE UNION? Like, are you telling me a joke right now? Is there a laugh track? Because you are out of your mind, you terrible, terrible Regina George of a friend. (Sorry about all the Mean Girls references this week, guys – it was seriously a major toss up and one day we will reflect on it.)

16) Bogey’s party looked fun before the actual party happened

Like, I don’t know how many of you would turn down classical music and cigars and brie, but add stretchy pants into the equation and I am into it faster than the stretchy pants I just mentioned and am also currently wearing. “What’s a Bogey Lowenstein?” you ask? It’s the nickname for sitting in bed eating leftover Christmas candy and watching movies in stretchy pants, that’s what a Bogey Lowenstein is. Also, this party is out of control. No wonder Kat needs to dance on the table to Notorious B.I.G.

17) Kat is a magical unicorn of a character

It’s embarrassing that I didn’t address this sooner, but she is the bomb IN SUCH A BIG WAY. First, she uses words like “witty repartee”. Second, she does not give one single eff about anything aside from being totally boss. Third, she gets into a wicked school and reads great books and talks about things that are not tube sock ads. No wonder she and Patrick Verona ended up together for years to come, having a really great time and playing instruments and reflecting on their time being hip in the ’90s.

18) Kat is a magical unicorn of a dancer

Raise your hand if you ever tried to dance like Kat:

1) During any song by Letters To Cleo

2) During ‘Hypnotize’

3) During any song by Save Ferris

4) When you sat silently at a music store not actually dancing but pretending to play a guitar you can’t afford to buy (but that your babely boyfriend buys for you because he dated you for a bet, but then fell in love with you and it was beautiful and angels sang)

19) Patrick earns one thousand points for not kissing the very drunk Kat

And may I present: “This is what a gentleman looks like 101″.

20) Maureen from Center Stage‘s Shakespeare obsession is completely normal

I say that because of two reasons:

1) I mean, the man could write. And sure, there are Shakespeare groupies! Why not, right? Hockey players have them. Musicians. Actors. Just . . . most of them are still alive. BUT STILL. Groupies! Or those who are “involved”. Horray!

2) I had a Leonardo DiCaprio fan book when I was 12, and I’m still trying to justify it.

21) But seriously, why does Joey “Eat Me” Donner carry around $100s?

Is that what models do? Are any of you models? Do you carry $100 bills around IN HIGH SCHOOL? Also, how do you not get robbed if you do? And why do you not trust bank accounts and/or debit cards? There are so many questions about this very small thing, but you have to understand that I am now going to consider modelling (tube socks) if that means I can walk around carrying $100 bills like a definitive baller.

22) Patrick Verona set unreachable standards for anyone, ever

Not that I expect you to sing to me or to sing to us or to sing to anyone, but I do expect you to hire a band and learn a golden oldie and basically, yes, sing to me in front of my entire soccer team and if you don’t, then I want two guitars and a signed copy of The Feminine Mystique and I bet you can’t do that, CAN YOU, Leonardo DiCaprio? (Leo fanbook flashback. Sorry, guys.)

23) That is not what paintball looks like

Did anyone else ever find out what paintball ACTUALLY is and then realize that it looks and sounds like the worst possible activity in the history of modern civilization? Okay, fine: I know it is not the worst. (It is the second worst.) But because it does not involve wearing white suits and running around hay and tossing balloons filled with paint while making out with a very lovely babe in the sun by the water, I would like it to be re-named. Because from what I’ve learned, paintball involves guns and welts. And I would rather attend an actual Bogey Lowenstein event than do anything minus the hay and the Heath and the water and the song that plays during this very important scene.

24) That Shakespeare dress is actually major

I still maintain that the Michael-Mandela storyline is on-par with the end of She’s All That when Anna Paquin hooks up with the guy who’s friends with Laney Boggs.

25) Prom is not that fun and/or eventful

Okay guys, I’m going to be honest (and also, my new name is Buzzkill Betty): prom is nothing like what we just saw in the prom scene from 10 Things I Hate About You. I AM SO SORRY, but as Bianca says, “We dance, we kiss, we go home”. And yes, that is true. But guess what doesn’t happen: a live band (at my high school). Or Save Ferris. Or Letters To Cleo. Or an amazing combat between Bianca and Joey “Eat Me” Donner. What does happen is whatever happens at a school dance. Sometimes the DJ will talk. Sometimes the DJ will not. You will also leave said event with a photo of you and your date, and all I ask is that you avoid standing like Charlie’s Angels.

Okay, so we can’t end on this note. I mean, we can, but what a disaster that would be. So instead, let’s just end on a note that will bring us all together and we can hold hands and hold hearts (what?) and look at each other with knowing, loving looks and agree that because of this, the world makes sense.

10 Things I LOVE About This Movie more like it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.keizner Elizabeth Keizner

    Heath Ledger’s singing scene is a big reason why the first dance at our wedding was “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.” Great write-up of why this movie is so awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9018747 Lindsay Ann

    This is quite possibly my favorite movie of all time. Everytime I hear the song that Heath Ledger sings in this movie, I have to turn it up…even though his version is better. I own the soundtrack and listened to it obsessively a few years ago. I’m an English teacher and I will teaching Taming of the Shrew to my students, which 10 Things I Hate About You is loosely based on. I just started reading it and I keep thinking of this movie haha. For example, a bunch of characters want to be with Bianca (her name in the play as well) but her dad won’t let her be married until her sister Katherine is married. So they all disguise themselves as tutors to be allowed into her house. I was reading this and literally was like, “Oh my God! Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the French tutor!” haha

  • http://www.facebook.com/eastautumnpacificocean Colleen Sweeney

    The first time I saw this movie, I was 18 or 19 years old, which was 10 years ago. I had never been on a date, and my Prom had ended the year before. I cried at the Prom scene. Not because I missed my Prom, but because Patrick used his money to buy Kat her band to perform. And then they slow danced, and kissed. It just made me want a boyfriend. Then I finally went on a date, and this movie took a new meaning. This movie is just perfect. Everything you described and then some.

  • http://www.facebook.com/annemari Anne Mari

    Patrick Verona walking into Club Skunk is one of the best moments in film history. It was hot. And there was a Suicides Machines poster on the wall. This is the first DVD I ever owned and I know all the lines (weirdo alert). The soundtrack is also kind of excellent!

    So, are you going to Bogey Lowenbrow’s thing Friday night?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ninfem Rebecca Gonzalez

    I watched it last night again.. awesome movie. I miss Heath :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=22100222 Kati Garringer-Maccabe

    The best teen movie ever, and you have summarized many of the reasons why. I wrote a paper about its adaptation from “The Taming of the Shrew” as a freshman in college. I haven’t watched it all the way through since Heath died, but I’ve been meaning to. I think it’s going to be this weekend, thanks to this article (and hearing “I Want You to Want Me” on the radio this morning.) Thank you.

    Also- that punk guy in the screen shots from English class? He looks at least 25, possibly 35 or older.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=531107925 Bianca Koolmees

    I love the 90s where the ‘cool teen style’ was basically dressing like a housewife from the 50s (pearls! sweaters!) and the most revealing outfits got was showing off your belly button… memories And I loved this movie for teaching people how to pronounce my name properly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551858870 Ashlee Bradley

    Adore this movie!! One of the ones I can never see too many times :) Heath Ledger will always be one of my all time favorites. I fell in love with him every time I saw him. Still can’t believe he’s gone :( Great actor…great movie…great article :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/lnwillicombe Lindsey Willicombe

    *sigh* This movie is why I cried when I found out that Heath Ledger died.

  • Anne T. Donahue

    You guys are the best! I am sending many hugs and high fives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elaina.najera Elaina Joanne Najera

    True story sister! Great insight and story. ;-)
    I have always LOVED this movie and also pondered the same things but I haven’t had the heart to watch it since Heath passed. =/

    Have you seen Sense and Sensibility with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson? That is my other favorite movie to watch while engaging in gluttony and stretchy-pants. Although, after watching it, I always feel the need to wear bonnets and/or empire-waist dresses and be called “Miss Najera” and practice the piano forte (i.e. plug in keyboard). =)))

  • http://www.facebook.com/donnacigs Donna Martin

    This is my favorite movie, because it is about love and because it is funny ;) http://www.cigs4girls.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/dungo.alexa Alexa Dungo

    This article may be my favorite HG article ever!

  • http://www.facebook.com/shandra Shandra Goldfinger

    I honestly know every single line of this move. There was an entire summer where I watched it every day. EVERY. DAY.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1278695627 Jessica Scopel

    I love this movie. And I love Heath Ledger too. I’ve watched so many times that I’ve lost count. It’s definitely the teen movie of my life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mexicantgetausername Andie Farias

    The school is awesome. It’s Stadium High School in Tacoma. My little brothers got to go there. They got to play football in this


  • http://www.facebook.com/diana.nicole.93 Diana Gomez

    can we be bestfriends? cool, thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/karathomas29 Kara Thomas

    I never realized how cool that school was I just watched the scene where he sings to her ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6XGUhzfutc ) and ahhhh so great, can’t even deal with it. Let us all also see that he is running away from cops? Are they really going to handcuff him just to bring him to detention? That’s fishy if you ask me, not to mention that the teacher isn’t much of a guard, he gets distracted by a mere pair of boobs!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1310361048 Penelope Dawn

    Hooollly crap. I think that you are my new best friend. FOR REAL. I am sitting here trying so hard not to LOL because I don’t want to wake my kid from her nap so the effort of it is making me pee myself. I was just watching this the other day and I was thinking to myself that I should have mentioned this movie in the comments of that Bad Movies That People Think Are Bad but Are Actually Good. And every observation that you have here are the ones I have every time I see that movie ESPECIALLY the Maureen from Center Stage one!!!!!1one

    Awesome article. Loves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leisabell Leisa Ilander

    you lie! It is a real high school! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadium_High_School

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!