10 Things I Hate About You
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Time Out saysThe Taming of the Shrew set in American teendom ('Padua', a suburb of Seattle) may not sound a great idea. A snooty riot grrrl (Stiles) as Kate/Katharina? An impoverished Jim Morrison clone (Ledger) as Patrick/Petruchio? Another loudmouthed, narcissistic rich boy as the baddie (Keegan)? Junger's film is a quiet revelation, a study in female distemper that makes the original look mean-minded. For starters, the script draws out the character of Kate's father, here a divorced doctor, who insists sister Bianca (Oleynik) can't go on a date until Kate does because he assumes the latter's not interested in boys. His scenes with girls sizzle with Oedipal anxiety; at one bizarre moment, he has a pre-date Bianca parade around in a prosthetic vision of pregnancy. In the play, Bianca's a bitch in sheep's clothing; here, she's a sly take on Clueless's Cher, a mixed-up kid whose desire to fit in has simply dragged her away from the deep end. Her friendship with Kate develops sweetly and plausibly, with the latter's secret about the wicked Joey providing a real twist. Stiles grows into her character and Ledger is effortlessly charming . Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet was a more spectacular, hungry make-over, but for gentle, cheeky wit this has the edge.