11 Ways '10 Thing I Hate About You' Got High School Totally Wrong
Since the dawn of movie time, Hollywood has made high school seem so much cooler in movies than it actually is IRL. From everyone knowing the same dance moves in Grease to the endless house parties in pretty much of every single '90s high school movie, the silver screen makes high school seem like a much better time than what I experienced. One movie, for instance, that really got high school wrong was 10 Things I Hate About You .
I mean, can you blame me? It's basically the quintessential high school movie of the late '90s. When I made the leap from middle school to the hallowed halls of a high school, I was expecting to experience things similar to what Kat went through in the film — but alas, there weren't any hotties that looked like they were in their 20s, prom wasn't really that earth-shattering, and huge romantic gestures were mostly limited to locker decorations. What really went down was that I went to class, crushed on boys who didn't crush on me back, and watched Say Yes To The Dress on my best friend's couch all weekend. Sometimes there was a birthday party thrown in the mix, or an '80s-themed dance — but for the most part, high school was just as normal as the rest of life has been.
That's not to say I don't still love 10 Things I Hate About You — I'm just saying, its depiction of high school is basically nothing like IRL high school. Here are all the ways:
1. People Don't Really Make Huge Declarations Of Love
No one in my high school would have been caught dead reading a love sonnet (that, BTW, wasn't a sonnet at all) to their ex during English class while crying, even if their ex looked like Heath Ledger. Crying in front of your English class in general was not really a popular activity to take part in.
2. No One Is As Cute As Heath Ledger
Fact: No one was as cute as Heath Ledger. They also weren't in their 20s, so that might have something to do with it.
3. Prom Isn't That Important
Movies like 10 Things About You made me think that prom was going to be just as important as my hypothetical wedding day. Lives were decided at the prom. When prom actually went down and all that happened was I drank punch and awkwardly danced around to Nelly's "Hot In Herre," it was like, "Yikes, why did I spend that much money on a dress I can only wear once, maybe twice?"
4. Bad Boys Were Sometimes Just Bad Boys
Sure, we can't generalize an entire genre of boy, but sometimes, the kid who smoked behind the CVS down the street from campus was actually not the ideal date. Occasionally, it was better to stick with the guy who hung out in the computer lab after lunch. Again, not everyone can be Heath Ledger.
5. It's Not That Easy To Get Into Your Dream College
OK, Kat wasn't involved in any extracurriculars and yet she managed to get into an intense school like Sarah Lawrence? Either her SAT scores were practically perfect, or that girl's got some serious voodoo.
6. Nobody Has Time For Intricate Plots
Nobody has the time to mastermind a fake relationship so they can get with someone's sister. Everyone's too busy trying to conjugate pronouns in Spanish or figure out what the mystery meat is. There's simply no time for such antics.
7. Dates Aren't That Fun
Now, to be fair, very much like Kat I didn't go on many dates in high school, so maybe some people's high school dates were great and I just missed the boat. But, for the most part, dates weren't usually paddleboating or fun stuff like that: they were "hanging out" which usually involved a dinner at some local chain restaurant followed by walking around at the mall. Teenagers don't usually have that much money.
8. Nobody Really Knows What They're Doing In The Love Department
Yeah, most high school students are still figuring out what the difference between liking someone and like liking someone is. It very rarely looks as awesome as the passion shared by Kat and Patrick.
9. The Administration Takes Pranks Seriously
Just a detention for that stunt he pulled on the football field? Nah. The guy got chased around by security. That's definitely at least in-school suspension territory, plus a phone call to the parentals.
10. House Parties Aren't That Well Put-Together
Bogey's house party is such a fallacy. In high school, house parties were mostly just people sitting in a basement drinking beer they stole from their parents and acting like they were wasted when they were really just mildly tipsy. There definitely weren't DJs or waiters...
11. Not Everybody Has A Tricked Out Red Car
In fact, most of us were rocking our parents' old minivan, and that was exciting enough.
So yeah, 10 Things I Hate About You stretched the truth in terms of what to expect for high school, but that doesn't keep it from being one of my all-time favorite movies about those dreaded four years. High school in all actuality was pretty boring, so it's nice to live the fantasy through some of our favorite characters. And while I'm happy that time in my life is over (and I can drink legally now, don't have to take math classes, and will never run a timed mile again) 10 Things I Hate About You is the perfect way to remember some of the good times.
Images: Buena Vista Pictures; Giphy (8)