December 31, 2013

10 Things I Hate About You: Herding Kat

Posted in movies tagged , at 1:29 pm by Jenn

Why is Julia Stiles standing like that? Did Joseph Gordon-Levitt hurt his back? Why is Gabrielle Union in this picture when she has so few scenes?

Why is Julia Stiles standing like that? Did Joseph Gordon-Levitt hurt his back? Why is Gabrielle Union in this picture when she has so few scenes?

Summary: Some girls are rocking out in their car to the Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week.” Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) pulls up alongside them to glare and listen to “Bad Reputation.” Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is welcomed to Padua High School by the guidance counselor, Ms. Perky (Allison Janney), who hates everyone. Next she gets a visit from Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), who’s the resident bad boy. He used a bratwurst to pretend to expose himself to a lunch lady. Ms. Perky thinks he’s being optimistic with the bratwurst. After he leaves, she goes back to writing a romance novel.

Michael (David Krumholtz) takes Cameron under his wing and shows him around the school. He introduces him to various cliques: white Rastas, cowboys, future MBAs (yesterday, Michael was their god, but Bogie Lowenstein started a rumor that his Izods come from an outlet mall). They come across Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik), and Cameron immediately falls in love: “I burn, I pine, I perish.” Too bad she’s not smart. She and her friend Chastity (Gabrielle Union) discuss the difference between like and love (she likes her Skechers and loves her Prada backpack) while Michael tells Cameron that the Stratford sisters aren’t allowed to date.

Kat goes to her English class with teacher Mr. Morgan (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell), where they’re discussing The Sun Also Rises. Kat hated the book because Hemingway was a misogynist. Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) taunts her, so Mr. Morgan tells him to shut up. Patrick arrives late for class, then immediately leaves again. Joey continues taunting Kat, and Mr. Morgan warns that she’ll hit him one day and he won’t try to stop her. However, he’s also sick of her for constantly complaining since she’s rich and white. He sends her to the office just for annoying him.

Ms. Perky continues working on her erotica, with an assist from Kat in the form of a synonym. They exposit that she recently kicked a guy in the family jewels for groping her. Ms. Perky notes that a lot of people find Kat… “Tempestuous?” Kat supplies. “Heinous b&^%$ is the term used most often,” Ms. Perky replies. After class, Joey ogles Bianca, telling a friend he’s going to land her. Michael tells Cameron that Joey’s a model (not exactly international).

Cameron continues admiring Bianca, insisting that she’s deeper than she seems. Michael says that guys like them can never date girls like her. But if Cameron wants an in, he can tutor Bianca in French, despite not speaking it. Joey taunts Kat one more time as Chastity wonders if you can be “whelmed,” as opposed to under- or overwhelmed. Bianca thinks you can in Europe. Joey gives them a ride home, which Kat and her friend Mandella (Susan May Pratt) find gross. Kat almost runs over Michael, who tells Cameron that she’s Bianca’s sister. Then he accidentally drives down a hill on his scooter.

Kat goes home to read The Bell Jar and let her father, Dr. Stratford (Larry Miller), know that she hasn’t made anyone cry today – “but it’s only 4:30.” She’s thrilled to get an acceptance letter from Sarah Lawrence. Dr. Stratford objects to her going to school on the East Coast. Kat tries to change the subject by telling him that Bianca let a senior drive her home. He busts out his two house rules, both of which are no dating until graduation. Dr. Stratford is an OB/GYN, so he sees pregnant teenagers all the time and doesn’t want his daughters to end up in the same mess. Kat has no problem abstaining from dating since all the guys at school are gross. Dr. Stratford decides to use this to his advantage and makes a new rule: Bianca can date when Kat does.

Bianca goes to her first tutoring session with Cameron; he wastes no time asking her out. “That’s so cute! What’s your name again?” she replies. She tells him that she can’t date until Kat does. Cameron wonders why Kat’s such a jerk. “I’m pretty sure she’s just incapable of human interaction,” Bianca says. “Plus, she’s a b&^%$.” Cameron thinks they can find a guy somewhere who would think of going out with Kat as “extreme dating.” Bianca would be eternally grateful if he succeeded. So Cameron and Michael gather some guys to interview potential dates for Kat, but not even the most desperate of them is quite that desperate.

In chem lab, Cameron wonders if Patrick is an option for Kat. Michael quickly vetoes him: He set a state trooper on fire! He just got out of San Quentin! He sold his liver for new speakers! As Patrick uses a Bunsen burner to light a cigarette, Cameron makes up his mind that he’s the right guy. They approach him in woodshop, where Patrick won’t even talk to him, instead drilling a hole in his French book. The guys consider offering Patrick money, so Michael suggests getting it from someone dumb. That would be Joey. Michael advises him to hire someone to date Kat so he can have Bianca. All he wants in return is a “hi” from Joey every so often. And probably for Joey not to draw penises on his face anymore.

Michael approaches Patrick on the school’s sports field, where Kat has soccer practice. Michael starts with the truth, saying that he can’t date Bianca until someone takes Kat out. Then he offers Patrick money to go out with Kat. His opening offer is $20, but after Kat shoves a girl, he ups it to $30. Patrick figures that a movie date would cost $75 (popcorn alone is $53), then negotiates it to $50. It’s a deal. After practice, Patrick tries to talk to Kat, starting off with, “Hey there, girlie.” Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t win her over. He tells her he’ll pick her up on Friday. Cameron and Michael watch from the bleachers, Cameron trying to stay upbeat about how screwed they are. Then Bogie hits someone with a golf ball.

At home, Bianca bugs Kat to put more effort into her appearance and try to be nice. Kat insists that she doesn’t care what people think, telling her sister that she doesn’t have to act the way everyone wants her to. Bianca says she likes being adored. Kat notices that Bianca is wearing a strand of their mother’s pearls and objects. Bianca notes that their mom isn’t coming back for them. Kat goes shopping and runs into Patrick, who’s surprised that she’s not afraid of him the way everyone else is. Also, she’s probably thought of him naked. Joey double-parks her and she rams into his car.

Of course, Dr. Stratford is upset about this, and thinks Kat’s acting out because he doesn’t want her to go to Sarah Lawrence. Kat counters that her father’s punishing her because her mother left. He tells her that she doesn’t really know what she wants; by the time she does know, she’ll be too old to use it. Kat just wants him to let her make her own choices. Bianca confronts Kat for her actions, calling her psycho. Speaking of confrontations, Joey’s upset that Patrick hasn’t come through on his end of their deal yet. Patrick decides he wants $100 a date now.

Cameron and Michael visit Patrick in woodshop again and tell him they know about his deal with Joey. They want to help so Cameron can go out with Bianca. They offer to find out the kinds of things Kat likes so Patrick can connect with her. Michael thinks that he should take Kat to a party Bogie’s throwing that weekend. He also plans to get Bogie back by flooding the party with tons of students. A clueless Joey asks Bianca for her opinion on some headshots. He wants to hang out with her at the party.

Cameron also wants to hang out with Bianca at the party, and tells her that he’s working on getting Kat a date. Bianca confirms that Kat is straight, but the only guy she’s shown an interest in is Jared Leto. She also won’t date a smoker. They sneak into Kat’s room, finding concert ticket stubs and black panties; Bianca says that means Kat wants to have sex someday. Cameron asks to see Bianca’s room, but she gets flustered and tells him that a girl’s bedroom is personal.

Michael and Cameron find Patrick at a biker bar to give him the information they got from Kat’s room and Bianca. Patrick worries that he’s not pretty enough for Kat. Cameron and Michael assure him that he is. They encourage him to hang out with Kat at Club Skunk the next night. Patrick is reluctant until Cameron reveals that Kat has some black underwear. At the club the next night, Patrick “runs into” Kat, pretending he’s not stalking her and likes this kind of music, too. Also, he quit smoking. Just as he tells her she looked sexy dancing, the music stops and everyone hears. He invites her to the party again, and she plays coy.

Bianca and Chastity try to sneak out of the Stratfords’ house for Bogie’s party; when Dr. Stratford catches them, they say they’re going to a study group. He tells them they can’t go if Kat doesn’t go. Kat refuses, giving a speech about parties that she’s given so many times, Bianca and Chastity can recite it. Bianca begs her sister to do something nice for once, so Kat gives in and agrees to go with them. Now Dr. Stratford has no excuse to let them go. But first, Bianca has to wear a fake pregnancy belly to remind her what could happen if she has sex. Just as the girls are leaving, Patrick shows up to join them.

Cameron and Michael get ready for the party; Michael’s overexcited because the last party he went to was at Chuck E. Cheese. Dozens of students show up at Bogie’s, turning his lowbrow cigar-and-brie party into a kegger. Michael tries to hit on a girl by talking about possibly getting a Toyota. Patrick follows Kat around, losing track of her as she comes across Joey. He taunts that he’s getting closer to Bianca. When Kat tries to warn Bianca away from him, Bianca ignores her. Kat decides to drink some shots to distract herself. Patrick’s concerned since it’s not like her to give in to peer pressure.

Michael continues to fail at flirting. Cameron finds Bianca, who appears to be a little more into him, but she gets pulled away by Joey. He spends the next few minutes boring her. Later, Bianca and Cameron run into each other again, but don’t talk. Patrick goes looking for Kat and finds her dancing drunkenly on the kitchen table. She hits her head on a chandelier and falls off, but he catches her. He takes her outside, thinking she could have a concussion so he needs to keep her awake.

Cameron tells Patrick that the deal is off, since Bianca wants Joey. Patrick tells him to keep fighting for her. “Don’t let anyone, ever, make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want,” he says. He takes Kat to a tree swing, which he has to stop her from falling off of. She passes out and he revives her, genuinely concerned for her. Kat notices that his eyes have some green in them, then pukes on his shoes. Joey asks Bianca to go with him to another party, but she has to go home to make curfew. Chastity happily accepts the invitation in his place. Stuck without a ride home, Bianca asks Cameron to drive her.

Patrick takes Kat home while she talks about how she should start a band. She comments that her father would love that, and he notes that she doesn’t seem like the type of person to ask permission. Both of them mention that people think they’re scary. Kat says that her father wants her to be like her sister. Patrick tells her that Bianca isn’t that great. She tries to kiss him, but he declines.

Cameron drives Bianca home and they also have an awkward moment. He confronts her for pretending she wanted to hang out with him when she really wanted to date Joey. He asks if she’s always been this selfish, and she realizes that she has. Cameron tells her everything he’s done for her, and she kisses him. “And I’m back in the game!” he exclaims after she gets out of the car.

At school on Monday, Mr. Morgan raps a Shakespearean sonnet for the class, delighting the white Rastas (and Kat). He assigns the class to write their own version of the sonnet. He thinks Kat will object to the assignment, but she likes it. Mr. Morgan is so confused that he kicks her out. In the hallway, Cameron and Bianca make eyes at each other. Michael teases Mandella about the pictures of Shakespeare in her locker, then wins her over by quoting Macbeth. He brings her into his and Cameron’s inner circle.

On the field, Cameron blasts Patrick for not kissing Kat and furthering their plan. Then he shares that he got kissed himself. Michael reports that Kat “hates [Patrick] with the fire of a thousand suns.” Cameron suggests that she just needs a day to cool off. Kat disproves that theory by firing a soccer ball at Patrick’s head. Later, Kat tears down a prom poster, complaining to Mandella that no one smart would want to attend. Mandella’s annoyed that Kat wants to make yet another statement about something.

Joey visits Bianca during gym class, where she loses concentration and shoots the teacher, Mr. Chapin (David Leisure), with an arrow. He asks her to prom, telling her that he’s lining up a date for Kat so Bianca will be allowed to go. He gives Patrick some money, but Patrick won’t accept until Joey ups it to $300. He heads out to stalk Kat some more (seriously, he follows her around a lot in this movie), finding her trying out a guitar at a music store, then looking at feminist tomes at a bookstore. They snark that neither is as mean as he or she thinks.

At school, Patrick confirms to Cameron and Michael that Kat’s still mad. Cameron advises him to “sacrifice [himself] on the altar of dignity and even the score.” Patrick uses some of Joey’s $300 to pay a guy to help him sing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” (with accompaniment from the school’s marching band) to Kat on the field. She’s so touched that she flashes Mr. Chapin to distract him so Patrick can sneak out of detention. They end up in a paddleboat, talking about how they always disappoint others for not living up to expectations. Patrick says that Kat never disappointed him.

They play paintball and have their first kiss, then head to Kat’s house, clearing up various rumors about each other. Patrick asks Kat to prom, but she still thinks it’s a dumb tradition. He encourages her to defy people’s expectations. She asks what’s in it for him, and though he tries to laugh off the possibility that he needs a motive, Kat isn’t convinced. Patrick pulls out a cigarette, making her realize that he didn’t quit smoking after all. Cameron tutors Bianca, and her French is so good now that she can use it to insult him. She’s mad that he hasn’t asked her out yet.

While Mandella finds a dress and prom invitation (from William S.) in her locker, Dr. Stratford pretends to work out on his roof. Bianca approaches to talk about prom, shocking him so much that he accidentally launches a piece of exercise equipment. Dr. Stratford doesn’t want her to go out with Joey, and finds her naïve for thinking that she’ll just end up kissing a boy. Bianca insists that she just wants to do something normal. “What’s normal? Those damn Dawson’s River kids sleeping in each other’s beds and whatnot?” Dr. Stratford asks. He doesn’t approve of her “going out and getting jiggy” with a guy – “I don’t care how dope his ride is. My mama didn’t raise no fool.” At least his neighbor returns his exercise equipment.

Kat finds Bianca moping while watching The Real World: Seattle and tells her she’s not going to sacrifice her beliefs so Bianca can go to prom. She admits that she and Joey briefly dated their freshman year, and even had sex. Joey dumped her because she told him she didn’t want to sleep with him again. From that moment on, Kat promised herself that she would never do what everyone else was doing. She didn’t tell Bianca because she wanted Bianca to come to her own conclusions about Joey. Bianca’s mad that she was so overprotected.

After some moping from both sisters, Kat ends up going to prom anyway. Cameron arrives to pick up Bianca, to Dr. Stratford’s dismay. “I know every cop in town, bucko,” he warns. Kat and Patrick meet up (and make up) at the dance while Joey goes to the Stratfords’ to get Bianca. Dr. Stratford just closes the door in his face. Mandella nervously waits for her William S., making Kat think she’s lost her mind. It’s Michael, of course, so the two of them can go off and be weird together.

Kat’s surprised when her favorite band starts playing, having been hired by Patrick. Bianca learns that Joey brought Chastity to the dance instead of her, and tells Chastity he’s all hers. Chastity snots that Joey only wanted to date Bianca to have sex with her. He even made a bet with his friends that he would sleep with her after prom. Patrick tells Kat that he spent the past year (when he was rumored to be in prison) taking care of his grandfather. Joey pulls him aside to blast him for failing to help him land Bianca. Kat overhears that money exchanged hands and runs off.

Joey next confronts Cameron, who’s had enough of his vile talk about Bianca. Joey throws a punch, then gets punched twice and kneed in the groin by Bianca (once for hitting Cameron, once for the way he treated Kat, and once for the way he treated her). Kat blasts Patrick for the deal with Joey, though he insists that he didn’t care about the money. He tells her he only cared about her, but she tells him he’s not the person she thought he was.

The next day, Bianca invites Kat to go sailing with her and Cameron, thanking her for going to prom so Bianca could go. Kat’s glad that she had a good time. Dr. Stratford wants to hear all about prom, so Kat tells him about Bianca beating up Joey. He admits that he’s impressed, and not concerned that his mean daughter had a bad influence on his nice one. He tells Kat that it’s hard for him to see his daughters become independent, and it’ll be even harder for him to let her go across the country to attend Sarah Lawrence.

At school, Mr. Morgan asks for a volunteer to read his or her sonnet. Kat reads hers, which is a list of reasons she hates Patrick, concluding with, “I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.” She and Patrick both start crying. After school, Kat goes to her car and finds a guitar inside, purchased with Joey’s $300. Patrick approaches and they make up, though she notes that he can’t buy her a guitar every time he screws up. He notes that he still has plenty of instruments to get. They kiss while Letters to Cleo plays on a roof, because weird things like that happened all the time in the ’90s.

Thoughts: I’ve seen this movie so many times that I can tell when they’ve censored it for this broadcast.

She makes a great Bianca, but Larisa Oleynik will always be Alex Mack to me. That show was awesome.

Also, I want her wardrobe in this movie.

Whoever cast Bogie doesn’t know what high schoolers look like.

Favorite quotes:

  • “Maybe if we were the last two people alive and there were no sheep. Are there sheep?”
  • “Should you be drinking when you don’t have a liver?”
  • “Who knocked up your sister?”
  • “You are amazingly self-assured. Has anyone ever told you that?” “I tell myself that every day.”
  • “She’s meeting some bikers. Big ones. Full of sperm.”

1 Comment »

  1. sjsiff said,

    This was a really funny movie. A great post, too. 🙂

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