The setting is idyllic and glossy and one boy is paying another to take a girl, whom they all say awful things about because she marches to the beat of her own drum, out on a date. But Kat, who pines for a guitar and the lack of feminist writers on the curriculum, is the queen of the woke comeback ("I guess in this society, being male and a – makes you worthy of our time") and it all holds up.
As the story has for 400 years, since translated from the original misogyny.
But 10 Things I Hate About You wouldn't be nearly watchable — and rewatchable — if the cast wasn't impeccable. Julia Stiles and Larisa Oleynik play the sisters. Susan May Pratt and Gabrielle Union are the best friends. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the sweetie, David Krumholtz is the nerd, Andrew Keegan is the jerk and, in our hearts, Australian newcomer Heath Ledger is the misunderstood bad boy who falls head over heels for the intelligent, untrusting and delightfully tempestuous girl's hired to romance. (Not to mention, Allison Janney is the guidance counselor who's writing an erotic novel on the site, and Daryl Mitchell is a spot on the English teacher who rolls his eyes at the woes of the suburban privileged.]
It's much ado about everything and it came out 20 years ago today, featuring more than a few star-making performances and toting its fair share of behind-the-scenes secrets
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Reader, They Dated
As Kat and Patrick were falling for each other onscreen, according to some of their co-stars on the DVD commentary, Julia Stiles and Heather Ledger became an item off-screen — the only thing that can make a choice movie romance even better as with the star-crossed couples in The Notebook or Twilight .
Moreover, Heath was Julia's first onscreen kiss.
"He was so nice. He was such a force; he was — even at that age — a very powerful, lovely human being, ”Styles remembered her late costar to Us Weekly in 2014, calling the experience of working with him "amazing."
Opening up a little more to Australia's ABC in 2016, Stiles said, "Heath and I did not keep in touch after filming, but when I heard about his death, I was incredibly sad, "I was very shocked. He was such a force, such a vibrant person, right at the really exciting time of his life." Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith “/>
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First Time's the Charm
Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz who went on to write Legally Blonde and Ella Enchanted She's the Man The Ugly Truth and The House Bunny .
"We knew we wanted to write a teen movie and when Clueless came out, we thought Amy Heckerling was a genius for contemporary classic Jane Austen 's Emma ]so we decided to try that as well, "McCullah told The Script Lab in 2015." We chose Taming of the Shrew and figured out which story lines we wanted to keep and update and how we'd go about it and then outlined all the characters and the story while we sat on a beach in Mexico. "
They were long-distance writing partners and would send pages back and forth via express ma
It's easy to see where the empowered Kat got her modern-day spirit — and the entire movie got its fresh, witty and whip-smart vibe.
McCullah described their work to BuzzFeed News as "badass" and full of mirth. "
" I think our legacy is just these fearless, funny female characters who are sort of radical by their confidence, "Smith said. "They're changing the world even though they don't really know that they're doing it." "We got a note that said," Why is she so angry? "" Smith recalled. Added McCullah, "They didn't understand that sometimes as a teenage girl you're just angry at all the bulls – you have to put up with."
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What's in a Name
McCullah and Smith, hearing that Disney's Touchstone Pictures wanted to make a teenage romance, state, raced to finish their rewrite to hopefully beat out the other script the studio had purchased — called School Slut .  Somehow, that one didn't end up getting made. By Disney
The title of the winning 10 Things I Hate About You meanwhile, was inspired by an actual list McCullah made about a high school boyfriend.
"The title is based on a diary entry I made in high school, "she said in a sit-down with UCTV. "I had a boyfriend named Anthony that I was frequently unhappy with. I made a list called Things I Hate About Anthony. When Kirsten and I decided to write this, I went through all of my high school diaries to bone up on the angsty memories , and when I was here about that list, she was like, 'That's our title.' '
Moreover, "Anthony is very proud of that fact," McCullah added. "We're still friends today. And every now and then I'll get a random phone call in the middle of the night:" My nephew doesn't believe that this title is about me. On the phone, I'm like, 'Yes, I hated Anthony in high school.' "Josh Hartnett, Ashton Kutcher, Katie Holmes, Kate Hudson, Eliza Dushku, 10 things I hate about you “/>
What If Goldie Hawn Said Yes ?!
"We saw hundreds and hundreds of actors," recalled producer Andrew Lazar, "but halfway through the process we did stumble upon an amazing girl, who we felt was perfect for the lead role, and that was Julia Stiles. And then we really turned out to find the perfect guy to play opposite here. "
It's impossible to picture this movie with anybody else in the lead roles, but ponder this for a minute: Larisa Oleynik, perhaps the biggest star of the bunch going in thanks to her Nickelodeon-fostered fame from The Secret World of Alex Mac wanted to play Kat. And that started the rumor, since debunked, that Julie Stiles was interested in the role of Bianca.
And at one point it might not have been Stiles — or Ledger — at all in the pivotal roles of Kat and Patrick. Josh Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher was in the running for Patrick, and Hartnett screen-tested with Eliza Dushku hot off her turn as Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer .
"They were all terrific," producer Andrew Lazar recalled about all three potential male leads, noting that they saw "hundreds and hundreds of actors" before whittling it down to Stiles and
"But Julia and Heath just had the best chemistry together, "casting director Marcia Ross recalled to The New York Times in 2019 for an oral history about the film. "I loved Katie Holmes . She was about to get Dawson's Creek and we had a decision really fast. The other person I loved was Kate Hudson . But here did not like the script for here, so she passed. "Well, don't all of those names sound familiar. High school still beckoned for Hartnett, who was the BMOC in The Virgin Suicides and Dushku, whom we cheer to this day in Bring It On. And luckily Goldie Hawn saw the promise in Almost Famous for which Hudson earned an Oscar nomination.