Screencapping One of the 90's Best Teen Comedies: 'Ten Things I Hate About You'
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Screencapping One of the '90s Best Teen Comedies: 'Ten Things I Hate About You'

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | September 16, 2013 | Comments ()


Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week” is the opening song on the soundtrack, y’all. It’s the movie’s way of reinforcing the fact that it’s the ’90s, and don’t you f*cking forget it, Sally.

I’d totally forgotten that Allison Janney is in this, as the Guidance Counselor, Ms. Perky.

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She dabbles in bodice-ripping lit.

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Look how adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt used to be. He’s an Army brat, and new kid in school.

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And now he’s making movies about masturbation addiction. THEY GROW UP SO FAST.


And here’s Patrick Verona. You can totally see the Joker smile-to-be, can’t you? I’m always surprised when such a deep, gravelly voice comes out of his mouth. He’s in the guidance counselor’s office, getting in trouble for exposing himself to what I suspect is the luckiest high-school cafeteria on the planet.

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Fun Fact: Ledger beat out Josh Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher for the role. Not so surprisingly, neither one of those names came up when casting for The Dark Knight began.

Krumholtz here, doing the high-school introductions trope, and otherwise bowing at the altar of John Hughes: Cowboys, white rastas, future MBAs, burnouts, tweakers, spazzes, melon-heads, etc.

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“Romantic? Hemingway? He was an abusive, alcoholic misogynist who squandered half his life hanging around Picasso trying to nail his leftovers.” It’s lines like these that elevate Kat Stratford above your typical Julia Stiles character. Were it not for 10 Things, Stiles would’ve perpetually lived in the shadow of Erika Christensen in Swimfan. She’ll always be the Shrew, to me. “The mewling rampallion wretch, herself.”

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“And Kat. I want to thank you for your point of view. It must be difficult for you to overcome all those years of upper-middle class suburban oppression. Must be tough.” TEACHER BURN. Daryl Mitchell deserves to be remembered for more than his supporting role in Ed.

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Good lord, Andrew Keegan was a total douche.

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The always reliable Larry Miller shows up as the father, here explaining to his daughters the rules of the house. “No dating until you graduate.” CONFLICT.

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But there’s a twist! “Planet Look-at-Me-Look-at-Me!” can date, but only if the mutant, “Planet Loser” dates first.

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So, the stage is set. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Cameron is in love with Bianca, while Bianca is smitten with Douchegrease, but Bianca can’t date douchegrease until Kat starts dating first. Bianca talks Cameron into finding Kat a date, so that Cameron can date Bianca, even though Bianca wants to date douchegrease.

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Enter this guy, who “sold his own liver on the black market for a pair of speakers.” Yup. He’s our guy. Fun fact: This scene was improvised by Ledger.

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ART. “I have a dick on my face, don’t I?”

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Douchegrease gives “Trailer Park” $50 to ask out Kat Statford, but she declines, with considerable hostility. So, Douchegrease is forced to up the date amount to $100, after Kat trashes his car. There’s a lot of interest in Kat and her “beer-flavored nipples” now. Cameron and Krumholtz come to Verona’s aid.

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It takes some doing, but a few manufactured common interests and an ill-timed compliment finally elicits an inkling of interest from Kat.

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I actually find this to be a decent parenting tactic. All daughters should have to wear one of these before having sex, not necessarily to dissuade them from having sex, but to ensure that appropriate precautions are used. I’m going to buy two of these today.

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I guess no one thought to consider that the “Lord of the Dance” reference would sound dated two weeks after the film was shot.

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Awww. The moment that Cameron realized that Bianca preferred Douchegrease to him.

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Meanwhile, Kat drinks too much, dances her fool ass off, then bangs her head on the chandelier, only to caught by Verona.

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Now it’s time for the pep talk. “First of all, Joey is not half the man that you are. Second, don’t ever let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want. Go for it!”

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Elsewhere, Bianca loses interest in Joey and his aspirations to star in hemorrhoid creme commercials, and lets Gabrielle Union escape with him. Gabrielle Union hasn’t aged a day since this movie.

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That opens the door again for Cameron. “Just because you’re beautiful doesn’t mean you can treat people like crap!” No? I thought that’s exactly what being beautiful entitled you to.

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Turns out, Bianca likes a guy who will tell her off.

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Whatever happened to Larisa Oleynik, the actress who plays Bianca, anyhow? Oh yeah! This.


Meanwhile, Kat feels a connection for Verona, but she’s hurt when Verona declines her advances.

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Now look at this! Krumholtz drops a little Shakespeare and gets in on the romantic action. “Macbeth” truly is so romantic, except for the madness, and the murders, and the bloodbath, and the tragic ending.

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Whatever happened to Susan May Pratt, anyway? Oh. Mad Men again. Weiner loves 90’s teen comedies.


Fun fact: In the original draft of the script, 10 Things was much darker. In fact, Mandela (above) referred to several of her own suicide attempts in the movie.

[On Prom] “Can you even imagine? Who the hell would even go to that antiquated mating ritual? Do you really want to get all dressed up so some Drakkar Noir-wearing Dexter can feel you up?” Ah, foreshadowing to season five of Showtime’s Dexter.

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So, Verona embarrassed Kat by rejecting her drunk advances. How does Verona win her affection? By embarrassing himself. How about the best teen-movie romantic gesture of the 90s? Roll video.

Kat, of course, repays the romantic gesture by helping Verona escape through the window by distracting the detention monitor in a very creative way.

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Cue the adorable romantic bonding montage.

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The moment, alas, does not last, as Kat turns Patrick down when he asks her to the prom because she doesn’t want to go to the prom BECAUSE OF REASONS, OK? Cue contrived complication.

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Krumholtz. YOU SLY DOG. Now, this is how you ask someone to prom.

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Meanwhile, Bianca really wants to go to prom and tries to appeal to her father by claiming it’s normal. “What’s normal? Those damn Dawson’s River kids sleeping in each others’ beds and whatnot?” Lame Dad 90’s reference win! “I’m down. I got the 411. I’m jiggy with it. I don’t care how dope you his ride is,” you are not going to prom.”

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And now the truth comes out: Kat dateD Joey in 9th grade for a month, slept with him, and afterwards, told him that she didn’t want to do it anymore, and he dumped her, because he’s the world’s worst. And THAT’S why she won’t go to prom.

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I’ll spare you the musical moment, where Kat realizes that she needs to go to prom for the good of her sister, except to say that it’s Sister Hazel. I liked them! Wikipedia tells me they’re still around, and still selling albums. Wikipedia lies.

In the meantime, JGL — arriving to pick up Bianca for the prom — really was the puppiest of puppy dogs, wasn’t he?

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There’s a sweet symmetry to the fact that Save Ferris — a band named after a Ferris Bueller reference — is the prom band on what is one of the more Hughesian films of the 90s.

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I was kind of hoping we could avoid it, but I suppose the fact that Patrick was paid to attend the prom would come out at some point.

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Obligatory reaction shot. The shit hath hitteth the fan.

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Bianca, meanwhile, takes care of business with Joey after Joey punches JGL. SUBVERSION. Sit down, Douchegrease. Stand up Puppy Levitt!

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Here’s the momentary detour for the father/daughter moment. Kat gets to go to Sarah Lawrence, after all.

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All right, Kat. Bring it home.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • I don't mean to be overly pedantic, but doesn't Bianca punch Joey at the prom? I thought that was her big moment? The moment where she punches him, not only because she's pissed at him, but also because he was a jerk to her date and her sister and she's decided to stop putting up with his crap?

  • Jrc2g

    That's Daryll "Chiil" Mitchell to you! House Party for life!

  • Candee

    Damn it...I'm going to have to watch this...

  • apsutter

    I watched this about a month ago and then listened to Letters to Cleo for two weeks straight.

  • D75

    I can remember being in total shock that Julia Stiles had rhythm when I first watched this movie.

  • Emm82

    I love this film so much I made my hubby sit & watch it with me - so many feels, so many memories! I still get a pang of sadness though whenever I see Heaths grin, but it's so worth it :)

  • Michelle

    Of course he didn't kiss her...she had puked! And douchegrease will now replace douchenozzle (but not douchecopter) in my vernacular. As will PuppyLevitt.

  • John W

    Ms. Perky:
    The way you expressed your opinion to Bobby Ridgeway? By the way, his
    testicle retrieval operation went quite well, in case you're interested.

    Kat Stratford:
    I still maintain that he kicked himself in the balls.

  • Ben

    This is one of my faviourte movies but it took me till like... last year to realise that Bianca wasn't Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

  • raeraefred

    "the shit hath hitteth the fan ... eth."

    I love this movie. I love *quoting* this movie. And I swear, there were two kids outside the high school where I teach having the overwhelmed, underwhelmed, whelmed conversation during the first week of school.

    I also own the soundtrack so i can hear the tunes WHENEVER I WANT.

  • MrPA

    This movie contains all my favorite things: Seattle, Allison Janney, BNL, Ska and Puppy Levitt (stealing that name). Seriously the best.

  • Crackblind

    What, no love for Daryl Mitchell on the John Larroquette Show (before they toned it down)? He will always be Dexter Walker to me.

  • Leelee

    I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this film.

    However, I think everyone suffers from Pretty in Pinkitis at the prom - all the characters are like: "OMG Kat you were secretly pretty all along!" and I'm shouting at the screen going: "WHAT? This is literally the worst she has looked for the WHOLE FILM - dear god what is that hair?!"

    So that's what I'd do with a time machine. Change Molly Ringwald's pink dress, and fix Julia Stiles' hair and makeup. I may need to get some new priorities.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Oh how I hate the secretly pretty trope. Unless there's some sort of plastic surgery montage, don't try to sell me that hormonal teenage boys didn't notice that Kat/Girl from She's All That/Molly Ringwald were stone cold foxes.

  • Some Guy

    From the look of things, JGL has been neglecting his pecks.

  • This is one of my favorite 'sick and at home on the couch all day' movies. It's just so comforting, and the poem at the end never fails to make me cry, because I am a big softie. The fact that it's a really bad poem seems to contribute to the emotional reaction.

  • Billybob

    My love for this film is strong and pure, and tinged with homoeroticism whenever Heath Ledger smiles (The Dark Knight ruined my one honest mancrush). And I therefore feel moved to point out that you omitted to mention the single best Miss Perky line.

    "People perceive you as somewhat..."
    "Heinous bitch is the term used most often."

  • Bodhi

    Oh how I lusted after Alex Mack's two-piece prom dress.

    I have no shame in admitting that Heath's big ole smile causes me more than a little pang of sadness. He had such a great grin

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    That prom dress was the shit.

  • phofascinating

    I totally copied it at my first homecoming dance.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    "Douchegrease gives “Trailer Park” $50 to ask out Kat Statford, but she declines, with considerable hostility. So, Douchegrease is forced to up the date amount to $100, after Kat trashes his car. There’s a lot of interest in Kat and her “beer-flavored nipples” now. Cameron and Krumholtz come to Verona’s aid."

    So much of this is wrong it's making me cross-eyed. Bianca has beer-flavored nipples, as remarked upon by Patrick after douchegrease offers to pay him off and JGL and Co. offer to help him with the mission.

    I live for this movie. LIVE FOR IT. I have most of it memorized.

  • Hollyg

    weren't they cherry-flavored? I always remembered as that

  • Genevieve Burgess

    It's possible they're cherry-flavored in the "sanitized for TV" version, but in the version I own they're always beer-flavored.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    I still have random bonding sisterly moments over this movie. We proudly can quote it almost wholly verbatim.

    There is some ironic joke in how two actresses in here ended up on Mad Men and the two leading actors ended up in Christopher Nolan movies, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

  • phofascinating

    My sister and I do the same thing. We'll do entire scenes at family dinners, to everyone's chagrin.

  • Anony Mouse

    Prom band was Letters to Cleo, no?

  • pajiba

    I believe the lead singer from Letters to Cleo joined them in the song that Patrick requested for Kat.

  • Even Stevens

    They also sang on the roof at the end, and I think one of their songs played at the prom.

  • emilya

    thank you so much for this! this is still one of my favorite "YAY it's on cable on saturday afternoon movies" and i can recite the majority of the dialogue along with the movie, much to everyone else's annoyance. Whenever anyone EVER brings up Hemingway, i always immediately think of kat's description of him.

  • baxlala

    This movie came out when I was in high school and is the perfect storm of so many things I loved in the 90s: BNL! Save Ferris! JGL! ALEX MACK!

    I completely forgot that Allison Janney was in this, which is just criminal because she's part of what makes this movie so quotable:

    "Very clever, kangaroo boy."

  • Anne At Large

    I need to be done with work so I can go watch this, NOW. Thanks for improving my Monday morning.

  • socallmeshirley

    Larisa Oleynik is also Ezra's baby mama (OR IS SHE) on Pretty Little Liars.

  • Samantha Klein

    Ahh. Perfect for a Monday. Much thanks.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Josh Hartnett makes me laugh, unintentionally.

  • Tinkerville

    "Oops?! My insurance doesn't cover PMS!"

  • Bananapanda

    Dang Mad Men ages women at warp speed!

  • socallmeshirley

    Right? Look what they did to Rory Gilmore. She still has teenager face but with 60's PTA hair.

  • bonnie

    I totally remember Andrew Keegan, aka Douchegrease, as Mary's teen-dad boyfriend from 7th Heaven (the only show my mom would let me watch, so I had to sneak everything else in). And of course, I also watched Larisa Oleynik in The Secret World of Alex Mack on Nickelodeon. Wow...this movie is so awesomely, painfully 90s.

  • APOCooter

    I would bet money that Ledger was channeling the same thing in his Joker performance as the Can't Take My Eyes Off of You performance. The movements and the over-actions are both there. It's awesome.

    I still think that scene from 10 Things is the best thing Ledger has ever done. Except maybe A Knights Tale.

  • bonnie

    I thought the same thing, especially with his exaggerated running from the security guards...

  • chanohack

    Daryl Mitchell shall be remembered by me as Tommy Weber in Galaxy Quest. So underrated, Galaxy Quest. (Your comment on purchasing two pregnancy suits made me laugh. More power to you, pa.)

  • BendinIntheWind

    I haven't even read this post yet and I already LOVE IT!!!

  • Rag__Doll

    Definitely my favourite teen film. I've lost count of the times I've watched it.
    Douchegrease! :D

    "Am I that transparent? I want you, I need you, oh baby, oh baby".
    Kat Stratford, you are my hero.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Huh. Susan May Pratt is the bulimic dancer in Center Stage, isn't she? She was absolutely terrible in that movie. I hadn't recognized her in this. If it's her. I'm resisting the urge to go to IMDB.

  • nosio


  • LizLemon

    Dont worry, I read both of these comments and still wanted to post it, it's basically the best line in the best ballet movie for teens ever made!

  • nosio

    HA! oh damn. I should really scroll down before I post stuff.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I'm gonna give you an upvote for commitment.

  • baxlala

    God I love Center Stage. It's so terrible. Can we get a screencapping of that one next?

  • BendinIntheWind



  • That's what she said.

  • A. Smith

    I mostly remember the movie for introducing Zoe Saldana

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I laugh when her toes shoes and hair magically change in the final dance. Oh, I don't miss the days of starving high-strung teenage ballerinas sobbing because a costume change isn't happening fast enough in dress rehearsal.

  • baxlala

    That is my absolute favorite part. I mean, aside from the godawful acting. It's so bad, it's magnificent.

  • marya

    My favorite part is the MOTORCYCLE on stage.

  • socallmeshirley

    Oh my God, I have seen both of these movies approximately 10,000 times and I never put that together.

  • BendinIntheWind

    She is the best goddamn dancer in the American Ballet Academy - WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!

  • apsutter

    I loved the fact that she was the only single "actor"(except for Zoe but I think she did dance for a long time) in that movie that wasn't a professional dancer and she was "the best one"

  • AvaLehra

    I would double up vote this if I could.

  • e jerry powell

    I got your back.

  • baxlala


  • She is!

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