SCARECROW ON SEATTLE
In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
During an interview on the 10 Things Blu-ray, director Gil Junger notes that in order to stave off comparisons to Clueless he wanted the film to take place somewhere other than L.A. The crew was only going to film establishing shots here, but then his eyes fell upon the grand spires of Tacoma's Stadium High School and he knew it was the perfect setting for a romantic teen comedy based on Shakespeare's Taming Of The Shrew. Stadium became Padua High School (cleverly named after the Italian town in which the play takes place) and it's there we meet our players: the anti-establishment, notoriously combative Kat (Julia Stiles), her popularity-driven sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), awkward-but-nice guy Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), his more-awkward friend Michael (David Krumholtz) and pretty boy model Joey (Andrew Keegan). Cameron is new to school and falls for Bianca instantly but she's forbidden to date anyone by their father (the great Larry Miller), who is convinced she and Kat will get pregnant the minute they are alone with a boy. He proposes that Bianca can date if her sister does as well, setting off a flurry of scheming amongst the interested parties to find Kat a suitable suitor. Enter Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), a loner with a reputation full of urban legend. (Did he once eat an entire live duck?) 10 Things has all the elements of a great high school movie: a clever but realistic script by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kristen Smith, fine performances by both its younger actors and the adult supporting cast, (including Allison Janney as guidance counselor Ms. Perky), and a solid balance between its comic and genuinely heartfelt moments. You can tell the film was shot in summer because every shot of the Seattle-Tacoma area is drenched in sunshine. Queen Anne's Kerry Park conveniently moves right across the street from the school as the film begins with the iconic postcard shot of the city from its ledge and pans over to show students pulling in to Padua's parking lot. The Fremont Troll makes its first appearance in our Scarecrow on Seattle reviews, looming over Cameron and Bianca during an important strategy meeting. State laws are thrown out the window when Cameron and Michael track down Patrick playing pool and drinking beer at The Buckaroo Tavern ("So this is what a bar looks like," Cameron says as they pass the bikers and head inside). Kat and Patrick verbally spar between the shelves at the sadly now closed Fremont Place Books. The all-important prom begins in the lobby of the Paramount Theater and then moves to Capitol Hill's Century Ballroom for the interior. There are a few mentions of local bands but most of the soundtrack is firmly rooted in late 90s power pop, including an end credit performance by Letters to Cleo, who sing "I Want You To Want Me" from atop the school while we're treated to a sunny panoramic view of Tacoma's Commencement Bay. --Jen Koogler