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

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

Joey Donner

If you look up the word slimeball in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Joey Donner directly underneath. He’s the perfect antagonist: a rich, entitled white guy who clearly uses way more hair gel than any person in this world needs to.

Joey’s role seems to be mostly to foil Cameron’s plan to date Bianca. Having a crush on Bianca himself, Joey is hellbent on making sure that Cameron never even gets near to her. It is Joey who sets the wheels of 10 Things plot in motion — he pays Patrick to date Kat — though he isn’t even aware he is being used in a bigger scheme. Under the impression that he will get to date Bianca, witnessing his fall at the end is one of the film’s sweeter moments.

Joey’s repertoire of bad behavior includes dating Bianca’s best friend to try and make Bianca jealous, drawing a really awful picture on Michael’s face, and apparently modelling for haemorrhoid cream. However the worst thing about Joey Donner is revealed in a conversation between Kat and Bianca towards the end of the film. Kat reveals to her younger sister that she and Joey used to date; she lost her virginity to him, only to find that he didn’t want to date her anymore when she changed her mind about having sex. Typical sleaze-bag behavior.

Sharing this story brings the two sisters closer together, so although Joey is an abhorrent person in every sense of the word, he’s a much needed part of the story for Kat and Bianca to reconcile.