10 Things We Hate About 10 Things I Hate About You Turning 20
10 Things I Hate About You turns 20 this weekend. Upon hearing the news we were like, HOLY SHIT, we’re old. And then we were like, ugh but how good was that movie?! To celebrate the anniversary of the last great teen rom com, we made our own Kat Stratford-style list. Please read, and share your own 10 Things reflections in the comments.
1) We hate how much we miss Heath Ledger. His charm in the film was undeniable, sure, but the role only gave us a teensy glimpse of the actor he would and did become. But it was all too quick and it was all over too soon.
2) We hate that teen rom-coms like this don’t exist anymore, but also that teen stars don’t either. We blame social media for both. Since no one is allowed to live a life undocumented, we know too much about everyone and apply all that knowledge to every role they play. We feel too close to them, we expect too much of them, we’re all waiting for them to fuck up and get canceled. Not to sound like a couple of old shrews, but we sometimes wish celebrities weren’t allowed on social media (except Chrissy Teigen, she can stay!).
3) We hate how Julia Stiles hasn’t made a great movie since (sorry JS, we still love you but those Bourne movies? More like Bouring).
4) We hate that 10 Things didn’t immediately usher in a new wave of feminist films where the girl doesn’t give a fuck about getting the guy, or gets the guy only after he’s proven that he’s actually worth getting. We hate how most of the time, teenage girls still aren’t allowed to just be bitches, because teenage bitches are honestly the very best kind.
5) We hate how the film set the gold standard of romantic gestures and has yet to be topped. In fact, there really hasn’t even been a close second to Heath’s stadium takeover. His “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” rendition complete with pole slide, side shuffle, and game of cat-and-mouse with the pudgy security guards was the absolutely perfect heart-melting, hilarious, just-the-right-amount-of-cringey move. No one—not even Ryan Gosling saying that he’s a bird—has even come near touching it.
6) We hate that there hasn’t been the movie’s type of fun, who’s who of an ensemble cast in what feels like forever. From Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Alex Mack (sorry, sorry, we mean Larissa Oleynik) to Gabrielle Union and Allison frickin Janney to a billion other actors whose names you don’t know but who you’ve seen in virtually everything (David Krumholtz, Larry Miller—google them. We’re right, right??)—there’s never been a better group of gorgeous weirdos.
7) We hate that we don’t go to house parties anymore. It’s a product of getting older, and of living in New York City where house party-sized houses aren’t really a thing, but these days it’s basically impossible to replicate the type of raucous, red cup, police-triggering rager where Kat first reveals her wild side. Also side note, “That must be Nigel with the brie!” is probably the movie’s best line.
8) We hate that 10 Things I Hate About You is the last normal thing that Andrew Keegan did. Since the movie, the former Tiger Beat cover boy started his own fringe religion in Venice Beach called Full Circle. The whole thing is very un-Joey Donner.
9) We hate that the movie’s version of paintball never took off. It just looked so much tamer and more fun than the scary BB-gun kind.
10) We hate that we’re old and that 20 years out we feel very, very far from the era of prom dates and soccer practice and BMOCs. We hate that if someone were to ask if we wanted to do high school all over again we’d be like “ugh, no, stressful,” but secretly we’d be all like, “YES PLEASE.”