- Actors: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz
- Directors: Gil Junger
- Writers: Karen McCullah, Kirsten Smith, William Shakespeare
- Producers: Andrew Lazar, Greg Silverman, Jeffrey Chernov, Jody Hedien
- Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: French, Spanish
- Dubbed: French, Spanish
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 2
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
- Release Date: Jan. 5 2010
- Run Time: 97 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 390 customer reviews
- ASIN: B002S8AH00
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,168 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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It's, like, Shakespeare, man! This good-natured and likeable update of The Taming of the Shrew takes the basics of Shakespeare's farce about a surly wench and the man who tries to win her and transfers it to modern-day Padua High School. Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is a sullen, forbidding riot grrrl who has a blistering word for everyone; her sunny younger sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) is poised for high school stardom. The problem: overprotective and paranoid Papa Stratford (a dryly funny Larry Miller) won't let Bianca date until boy-hating Kat does, which is to say never. When Bianca's pining suitor Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gets wind of this, he hires the mysterious, brooding Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to loosen Kat up. Of course, what starts out as a paying gig turns to true love as Patrick discovers that underneath her brittle exterior, Kat is a regular babe. The script, by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, is sitcom-funny with peppy one-liners and lots of smart teenspeak; however, its cleverness and imagination doesn't really extend beyond its characters' Renaissance names and occasional snippets of real Shakespearean dialogue. What makes the movie energetic and winning is the formula that helped make She's All That such a big hit: two high-wattage stars who look great and can really act. Ledger is a hunk of promise with a quick grin and charming Aussie accent, and Stiles mines Kat's bitterness and anger to depths usually unknown in teen films; her recitation of her English class sonnet (from which the film takes its title) is funny, heartbreaking, and hopelessly romantic. The imperious Allison Janney (Primary Colors) nearly steals the film as a no-nonsense guidance counselor secretly writing a trashy romance novel. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Overall, I reccomend this movie to anyone who likes tom cons, or just straight up comedy.
5 stars for me!
I think the story is cute, and I completely fell for Heath Ledger's character, Patrick (the guy who gets paid to date Kat). He and Julia Stiles are great in this movie - the other characters, however, leave a lot to be desired. I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would WANT to date Bianca. Sure, she's pretty - but she's got no personality until the very end. It's not bad though, since most of the story revolves around Kat and Patrick who are well developed characters with a lot of chemistry.
Not the greatest movie on the planet, but definitely fun as a light-hearted and humorous date movie. :)
The story is based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. It is about two sisters, one very popular, Bianca Stratford (played by Larisa Oleynik) and the other, Katrina, or "Kat" (played by Julia Stiles) hated because of her gruff character. Their overbearing father (played by the hilarious Larry Miller), devises a scheme whereby Bianca cannot date until rebellious Katrina does, which seems an impossibility. Thereby is set up a scheme to pair Katrina off with the roguish Patrick Verona. One of the masterminds of this plot is Cameron James (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a newcomer to Padua high, where the movie takes place. The other is his assistant of sorts, Michael Eckman (played by David Khumoltz).
Though somewhat predictable, especially if you have read Taming of the Shrew, it is an interesting light diversion. The dialogue is quite well done, intertwining a word or phrase from Shakespeare with modern teen slang. Other odes to Shakespeare are seen in Kat's friend who idolizes him as if he is a teen heartthrob, plus reading of his works in one Kat's classes. The timing in the dialogue is also very Shakespearean (for a comedy). It's Very rapid fire. I think both David Khumoltz and Larry Miller are amazingly funny!
Overall, this is not your typical shallow teen romance movie, but can appeal to anyone who enjoys witty dialogue, and many literary references.
The DVD is unremarkable. It has a good DD 5.1 soundtrack driven by a nice selection of alternative rock - Letters from Clio had several cameos, but I believe they mainly played cover tunes, not their own stuff. The DVD does not contain any special features.
Heath Ledger is the new ... Mel Gibson? They're both Aussies! Julia Stiles is definitely the new high school sweetheart, and after Kirsten Dunst's crown.
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