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.
She dabbles in bodice-ripping lit.
Look how adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt used to be. He’s an Army brat, and new kid in school.
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.
Good lord, Andrew Keegan was a total douche.
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.
But there’s a twist! “Planet Look-at-Me-Look-at-Me!” can date, but only if the mutant, “Planet Loser” dates first.
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.
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.
ART. “I have a dick on my face, don’t I?”
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.
It takes some doing, but a few manufactured common interests and an ill-timed compliment finally elicits an inkling of interest from Kat.
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.
I guess no one thought to consider that the “Lord of the Dance” reference would sound dated two weeks after the film was shot.
Awww. The moment that Cameron realized that Bianca preferred Douchegrease to him.
Meanwhile, Kat drinks too much, dances her fool ass off, then bangs her head on the chandelier, only to caught by Verona.
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!”
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.
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.
Turns out, Bianca likes a guy who will tell her off.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cue the adorable romantic bonding montage.
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.
Krumholtz. YOU SLY DOG. Now, this is how you ask someone to prom.
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.”
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.
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?
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.
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.
Obligatory reaction shot. The shit hath hitteth the fan.
Bianca, meanwhile, takes care of business with Joey after Joey punches JGL. SUBVERSION. Sit down, Douchegrease. Stand up Puppy Levitt!
Here’s the momentary detour for the father/daughter moment. Kat gets to go to Sarah Lawrence, after all.
All right, Kat. Bring it home.