10 Things I Hate About You: 10 things we love to hate about this film

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Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures

The manipulation of Kat Stratford

This leads nicely on to the actual plot of 10 Things I Hate About You which comes about because of Walter’s weird rule. In order for Bianca to date, she must get Kat to date. Eager to date Bianca, a fresh-faced Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as Cameron) doubles down on a plan with his best friend Michael to convince resident jock Joey to pay Heath Ledger (as Patrick) to take Kate out on a date. It’s less confusing on film.

Though it’s not technically Cameron’s idea to get Joey to pay Patrick, it still brings a monetary transaction into the equation. That makes it even more messed up that he and Michael collude on this. Never mind that Patrick is initially willing to lie and manipulate Kat into thinking she has a real relationship with him.

When it all comes out, Patrick does apologize (sort of), but Cameron and Bianca are nowhere to be seen. It is, perhaps, even more infuriating that Cameron is still framed as the “good guy” regardless of the fact that he definitely has some culpability in this devious plan.  Patrick’s own apology is less of an apology and more a revelation that he has fallen for Kat, saying that he “screwed up” on the deal.

The sentiment is cute, but the reality is that an apology for lying to her, taking money as a bribe to date her, and emotionally manipulating her would probably have been more ideal than just admitting that you have feelings for her.