As Shakespearean adaptations go, it's not quite as odd as moving The Tempest to another planet (as in Forbidden Planet) or Hamlet to a Canadian brewery (the secret subtext of Strange Brew), but it's still safe to say no one was expecting a version of The Taming of the Shrew set in an American high school. But unlike the previously mentioned films, 10 Things I Hate About You at least gives the Bard screen credit for his contribution to the story. In 10 Things I Hate About You, Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) is a tenth grader who has never gone on a date, as her parents have a little rule where Bianca isn't allowed to go out with boys until her older sister gets a boyfriend. The problem is, while her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) is attractive and intelligent, she's also a mean-spirited misanthrope who rubs nearly everyone the wrong way -- especially boys. But Bianca and the guy she has her eye on, Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), are eager to get their romance on the road, so Joey fixes Kat up with Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), a new kid in town who may be just bitter and mysterious enough to suit her. 10 Things I Hate About You is the first feature film for director Gil Junger, who previously worked extensively in television, including episodes of Dharma and Greg, Ellen, and Blossom.
by Mark Deming synopsis