Photos Courtesy of IMDb
Flick of the Month: 10 Things I Hate About You (PG-13)
Kicking us off this month is one of my all-time favorite comfort movies, starring the equally-beautiful Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, 10 Things I Hate About You. As a true classic in the romantic comedy genre, I’m sure most people have seen this. However, some extra appreciation for the greats never hurt anybody!
I’ve watched this film four or five times in the past few months alone. Its writing, soundtrack, costume design and cast list truly make this an unforgettable watch. Of course, we wouldn’t be here without Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. As someone who hasn’t read the traditional play, I can’t speak to the validity or accuracy of the film adaptation, but I’m sure familiarity with it only enriches your experience with the movie.
First of all: Heath Ledger … wow. Need I say anything else? His role as Patrick Verona is one of the best I’ve ever seen him in. He is as handsome as ever with lengthy brown curls and a clean-shaven, freckled face, and his accent is just the cherry on top. Patrick is the rough-around-the-edges-turned-dreamy-beau we all wish for. The scene where he takes over the stadium intercom, tips off the marching band, and dances while running from security gives me goosebumps. Who wouldn’t want this man serenading you in the stands of a football field?
Other honorable mentions include Cameron, played by the young and adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Larry Miller’s role as Kat’s dad. The number of great actors – and even musicians – adds to the reasons to watch this.
The script is full of clever quips and jokes (and drawings on faces) that may be a little too risqué for the kids. Julia Stiles makes me cringe with the delivery of many of her lines, but I feel that they contribute to the classic feel of the film. She is an incredible actress but struggles in this instance with organic delivery; still, I don’t know who else could portray the rebellious Kat like she did. I do wish they spent a bit more time explaining their family history. Did their mom pass away, or did she just leave? Does that have anything to do with Kat’s punk transformation?
Kat’s popular sister, Bianca, undergoes some pretty substantial character growth as well, and the sisterhood theme is endearing through it all. They bicker, they snoop through each other’s stuff, and they experience this difficult abandonment from their mother together. Their growth as a family navigating hard times while still being typical teenagers is sweet and relatable to many of us.
We can’t talk about this movie without mentioning the famous scene where Kat reads her poem. I think I’ve cried every single time I’ve heard it – and that’s all I’ll say if you haven’t seen it. Unforgettable, powerful, breath-taking.
With a strong combination of coming-of-age topics, excellent writing, clever humor and superb acting, it is so hard to not watch this one multiple times a week. As of the time this was written, 10 Things I Hate About You is streaming on Disney+. Make sure to check out the parental guidance recommendations before making this a movie night feature. Enjoy!
Show of the Month: Fleabag (TV-MA)
I’m so thrilled to bring Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag to the table for my TV show selection of the month. Though currently only halfway through my second watch, this one immediately trumped everything and nestled into its spot at the very top of my list of favorites. This one’s a little raunchy with a ton of signature English profanity. Waller-Bridge stuns us all with her writing as well as her performance as the protagonist … though, after getting to know her character, you might think she’s a bit of an antagonist, too.
Fleabag takes us on an absolutely hilarious and incredible journey through the life of a messy, chaotic and brutally-herself woman, referred to only as “Fleabag.” Personally, I could not believe nobody had mentioned it to me before: I’m renowned for my guinea pigs, and Fleabag literally runs a guinea pig-themed cafe. A guinea pig-themed cafe!
Dialogue runs quickly and cleverly in both of the seasons currently out. There is so much unique, genuine funniness in this series and none of the ability to guess what the characters will say or do next. This is, by far, one of the funniest things I’ve ever watched. Fair warning: This is definitely an adult show that deserves a generous “heads-up” for adult content.
Hand-in-hand with the comedy is self-deprecation and some truly dark themes. The balance achieved here is so astounding, and Waller-Bridge’s writing compels us to cry for her character, laugh at her character, and relate to her character. We see her best friend’s tragic death as well as the loss of her mother, and we see how real human beings deal with these things in real ways. These ways are questionable at times, but Fleabag is so unashamedly herself that it makes the rest of us feel comforted, in some ways, to see that we’re not alone, or maybe relief that we’re not that bad.
Fleabag’s episodes are reasonably short with only a few in each season. I don’t believe many people have seen this series, so I won’t spoil much, but this is one show that packs a significant punch. Stream this one on Prime Video and let me know how hard it punched you.