Director: Gil Junger
Writers: Karen McCullah Lutz (written by), Kirsten Smith (written by), William Shakespeare (play "The Taming of the Shrew") uncredited
Running time: 97 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12
UK Release date: 9th July 1999
Watched on Sky+ Friday 25th January 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Those of you that read my reviews (I know there are a few of you still out there); know that I don’t generally get on well with film comedies. Well there’s an exception to every rule and, for me, this is the one… or one of them at least. Why do I like it so much? Well for one thing it doesn’t try too hard to make you laugh; there are no “gross out” moments that make me feel like I’m being spoon-fed a load of crap because that’s the only way to get it down. No, it’s more intelligent than that. I think Shakespeare knew what he was doing and there’s no need to mess with it too much. I won’t do a summary this time, but if you want to know what it’s about I can recommend reading William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”, on which it’s based.
This film works because the audience are given a group of well rounded characters; many of which are quite likable, which helps. These are then put into a sequence of situations that resolve themselves into a satisfactory conclusion. Of course we are taken on quite a journey before this conclusion and I can see how some may find the plot a little hard to follow. Fortunately I have read the Shakespeare play and even seen it performed and so am familiar with all its twists and turns. I love the way it’s written with allusions to the original text, for instance calling the school ‘Padua’ was a very nice touch. All the performances were excellent with both Heath Ledger as Patrick Verona and Julia Stiles as Kat Stratford taking the plaudits. I must also give a nod to; Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cameron James, Larisa Oleynik as Bianca Stratford, David Krumholtz as Michael and Andrew Keegan as Joey Donner. Oh, and look out for a nice comic turn from Allison Janney as Ms. Perky; very funny.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I really enjoyed this film and have every time I’ve seen it! I know it got few plaudits from the critics when it came out, but it certainly speaks to me. It’s surprising just how many people ‘love that movie’ when I bring it up; but so few can tell me what it’s about. Definitely worth a watch if you’ve never seen it and if you have, give it another look sometime; it’s well worthy of a second look. Watch right to the end of the credits as well for some amusing outtakes.
SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
My score: 8.5/10.
IMDb Score: 7.0/10 (based on 122,645 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 70/100: (Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 69/100 (based on 30,627,092 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Walter Stratford: Hello, Katarina. Make anyone cry today?
Kat Stratford: Sadly, no. But it's only 4:30.
Cameron: I burn, I pine, I perish.
[Lucentio's line from The Taming of the Shrew Act I Scene 1]
Michael: Of course you do. You know, she's beautiful and deep, I'm sure.
Michael: Sweet love, renew thy force.
[Start of Shakespeare's Sonnet LVI]
Patrick: Hey! Don't say shit like that to me. People can hear you.
Walter Stratford: Do you know what happens at proms?
Bianca: Yes. We'll dance, we'll kiss, we'll come home. It's not quite the crisis situation you imagine.
Walter Stratford: Kissing? That's what you think happens? I've got news for you. Kissing isn't what keeps me up to my elbows in placenta all day long.
Bianca: Can we, for two seconds, ignore the fact that you're severely unhinged and discuss my need for a night of teenage normalcy?
Walter Stratford: What's normal? Those damn... Dawson's river kids sleeping in each other's beds and what not?
Bianca: Daddy that is so not...
Walter Stratford: I've got news for you. I'm down, I've got the 411, and you are not going out and getting jiggy with some boy, I don't care how dope his ride is. Mamma didn't raise no fool.
Ms. Perky: People perceive you as somewhat...
Kat Stratford: Tempestuous?
Ms. Perky: "Heinous bitch" is the term used most often.