Finding a good teen movie is a dime in a dozen. For every Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller there is always a bunch of crappy Hollywood sap in its wake. So it came as a pleasant surprise that 10 Things I Hate About You was a rather good movie, granted a bit sappy at times but never the less an enjoyable watch.
The movie begins when Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levit) falls for Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) on the first of a new school year. He is brought down to earth by the fact that Bianca's paranoid and uptight father (Larry Miller) won't let her date until her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) starts dating as well.
Together Cameron and his friend Michael (David Krumhaltz) create a plan using the school stud Joey (Andrew Keegan), who pays social misfit Patrick (Heath Ledger) to date Kat, thus clearing the way for Cameron to make his move. But when Patrick starts to fall in love with Kat and vice-versa, things start to get a little complicated for all involved.
In his first Hollywood leading role Heath Ledger delivers a solid performance, same with Julia Stiles who plays the uber-bitch to perfection. Both actors have the chemistry needed on screen to make this type of movie work, Ledger’s use of his Australian accent. is a pleasant surprise that works well.
A big problem with this film lies within the genre it is associated with, which employs the "Dawson's Creek" factor that has teens speaking in a vocabulary that is beyond their reach. It comes across pretentious and wankerish and it cost the film a star.
However a big part in what gave the film 3 stars were the performances by David Kurmholtz and Larry Miller. The funniest moments happen when these two are on the screen, from Miller's paranoid ramblings about teen sexuality to Kurmsholtz having a dick drawn on his face.
A good but patchy romantic comedy, 10 Things I Hate About You does not break any new ground, but there are plenty of surprises that will insure a good watch.