27 Jan 2014

ROM COM RULES - 10 Things I Hate About You

Does the 1999 High School film adaptation (and contemporisation) of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew - 10 Thing I Hate About You - follow the Rom Com Film Rules?


The following analysis may contain spoilers.

RULE #1 - The Characters

A:  The Couple - Kat Stratford & Patrick Verona.
i -   Balance - The balance in portrayal is actually between Kat & Cameron James (and to a lessor degree Michael), not Kat & Patrick.
ii -  Opposites in Attitude/Behaviour - Her:  Activist ;  Him:  Delinquent.
iii - Opposites in Life - Her:  Studious; Him:  Slacker.   They are, however, both outsiders/loners.
iv - Occupations/free time involving Romance or the Media - School students, seemingly without occupation.  Joey Donner is a male model, though.

B: The Best Friend/Confidant
As noted above they are both outsiders/loners.  Patrick is seen a couple of times early in the film a
ccompanied by a punk extra, Kat is seen a couple of times later in the film with Mandella (Who has more screen time with Michael than with Kat).  Cameron James & Michael do attach themselves to Patrick.  Michael is Wacky and "Hollywood Ugly" by being ever-so-slightly geeky.

C:  The Third Person - Joey Donner
There is no third person in the relationship.  Joey, however, is Kat's ex, and the third person in the Cameron/Bianca Stratford relationship.

RULE #2 - There Won't Be T&A

Nothing.  There is a scene where Kat flashes her breasts at a teacher, but it is filmed so the audience sees nothing.

RULE #3 - The Meet-Cute

No Meet-Cute, although the premise of being paid to date may count as one.

RULE #4 - Circumstances

Patrick was hired to date Kat who hates men.  This hate initially keeps them apart.

RULE #5 - Realisation of Love

Patrick starts showing actual concern for Kat when she gets drunk at a party - just prior to her dancing provocatively on a table.   Patrick refuses to kiss Kate when she's drunk, because she's drunk.

RULE #6 - The Break-Up

6a.  The Reason - The fact that Patrick was initially paid to date Kat caused her to dump him at...
6b.  The Event - The prom...
6d.  But... - She was unaware that he had long ago refused the money.

RULE #7 - Separated Forever

Although Kat is going to move to go the college, it never really threatens them being together.

RULE #8 - Redemption

D:  The Romantic Gesture - Patrick has a big romantic gesture in the middle of the film to get Kat interested, but it is Kat (the "wronged party") who reads her poem aloud in class.

RULE #9 - Happily Ever After

When Patrick gives Kat a guitar to show he loves her she points out he can't just buy her a guitar every time he does something wrong, and he suggests a range of instruments.

RULE #10 - Sequels

No sequels.  Both actors played leads in other romantic films.


Rules Followed:  1Aii; 2; 45;  6A; 6B; 6D; 9; 10.
Rules Partially Followed:  1Aiii; 1B; 1C; 6E; 8D.
Rules Not Followed:  1Ai; 1Aiv; 3; 6C; 7; 8A; 8B; 8C.
~ DUG.


  1. You know how I say that there are a few exceptions to my rom-coms = boring rules? This is one of those exceptions and I think it's mostly because I really love so many of the actors that I'm willing to suffer the silliness. And it helps that it's loosely based on Shakespeare.

  2. I agree there's something about this one that goes beyond the standard Rom-Com and it is a lot less boring.