10 Things I Hate About You DVD Review

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
While the cover for 10 Things I Hate About You is kind of bland, with just a photo of Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles, the menu is a nicely done, moving cartoon, mixed with scenes from the movie.  This is a high school comedy, and the menu fits in nicely with the theme and the movie itself, where the cover does not.  Of course at this point the deceased Heath Ledger is the main selling point of this movie, so the cover is understandable, but the photo just seems a bit boring to be honest.  The cover for the original release just is better, with the whole crew involved.

Features: 7/10

  • 10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You 10 Years Later – This is an excellent look back at the movie, with interviews with the Director, the writers, and many of the cast.  This was really informative, and very well paced.  I have to add that the interviews with Heath Ledger are a nice view at the young actor as he started on his path to stardom.  There are also test scenes with Ledger and the stories that rookie director Gil Junger tells just shows the passion that he still has for this little film that hit a note with so many people.
  • Writers & Cast Audio Commentary – The audio commentary here includes Director Gil Junger’s commentary, as well as commentary by the two writers, Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah.  Also included are many of the actors, who all reminisce about making this movie.  The talk tends to focus on how much fun was had on set, as well as some information on the late Heath Ledger.  This is a fun commentary, and the inclusion of so many people  gives this a kind of party atmosphere which is refreshing, and poignant for this type of movie.
  • Digital Copy – Ah, a digital copy of the movie.  Again, no complaints here.  I love the ability to watch my movies on my IPhone.

The Movie: 8/10
I remember seeing movies like 16 Candles, the Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, back when I was much closer to high school than I am now.  What made those classics funny was that a majority of people could easily identify with not only the characters, but also the cliques that were portrayed.  Those movies were so great and funny because those stories, which were far fetched, were believable.

10 Things I Hate About You is the same type of movie.  A high school story, with a bad boy, a cheerleader, the dork, the independent female, and a slew of other types of kids that could have been in anyone’s high school.  The movie came out in 1999, and while I was not a teenager at the time, it was one of those movies that was just fun to watch.  It has been a movie that my step-daughter has periodically watched, as well as my wife and I, whenever it was on TV.  It is one of those movies that is easy and fun, and can be enjoyed by teenagers as well as adults, who have lived through the high school experience, and remember it for what it was.

Based loosely on Shakespeare’s the Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You is the story of Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who is a new student at Padua High School.  Of course Cameron is knocked off of his feet by Bianca, a cheerleader type who only has eyes for the resident regional model Joey (Andrew Keegan), who is the type of guy who brags about his tube sock shoot that is coming up (I think everyone knew of a guy like this in high school, who modeled for the local ads, and thought he was headed for GQ.)

In order for Cameron to date Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), he is going to have to overcome her overprotective father’s restrictive rules.  Mr. Stratford (the ever funny Larry Miller) will not allow his youngest daughter to date, unless her older sister Katerina (a very young Julie Stiles) is dating also, which he figures it not going to ever happen, as Kat deplores high school and seemingly all of the child-like males who attend her school.  Kat is a feminist by nature, and her father feels that the restriction on Bianca will keep her safe from any unwanted problems that boys can bring on his little girl (he is a single father, obstetrician, that often makes his daughter wear a fake pregnant stomach, just to remind her how uncomfortable being pregnant can be.)

Cameron and his new friend Michael (David Krumholtz) concoct a way to get Kat to date, so that Cameron has a shot at dating Bianca, and it involves finding someone crazy enough to date the “shrew.”  Their choice is the new guy, who is said to have spent time in jail, and to have eaten a whole live duck (except for the beak and feet).  The new guy is a long haired, leather wearing loner named Patrick (Heath Ledger).  Patrick agrees to help out by trying to date Kat, and Cameron and Michael finagle the model Joey into paying Patrick, in the hopes that Cameron can move in on Joey, and get Bianca to fall for him.

It is a great little story that ends up with Kat actually falling for Patrick, and him doing the same for her.  The acting is decent, and it is very apparent that Stiles and Ledger are standouts right from the start.  Overall this is a fun little movie, with some great comedic elements, as well as a touching story, especially for a high school comedy.

10 Things I Hate About You is one of those films that just seems to hit a nerve with those who have seen it.  When I told people that I was reviewing this movie, many of them proclaimed their love for this 10 year old movie.  I really put this up their with the Hughes’ classics, and I for one will definitely be watching this movie again.

Audio & Video: 7/10
The newly remastered anamorphic 1.85:1 wide screen looks pretty bright and sharp overall.  It is not perfect, and I would have liked to have seen this on Blu-ray, but for a standard DVD it looks pretty decent.

The audio is also pretty clear even though the 5.1 Surround Sound is sparingly used.  The music sounds good, and was always a big part of this movie, and it again sounds great.  A marked improvement in at least the video department (and from what I can hear, a slight improvement in the audio) from the older DVD release.

Value: 6/10
If you already own the original 10 Things I Hate About You DVD, I am not sold that this is worth buying again.  I love this movie, and it is a favorite in my household, but there is just not a ton that can be done with this release to make me say that buying it again, on regular DVD, is worth the price.  If you don’t have the older version, and even if you have not seen this movie (shame on you) this is a great little high school comedy in the flavor of the John Hughes’ movies, and it is well worth a watch.  This is definitely a movie that will get played over and over in my house, and it already has.

Overall Score 7/10