Few 90s rom-coms stand the test of time, but the 1999 film “10 Things I Hate About You” seems to age well as fans celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Following the decade’s trend of Shakespeare adaptations, the movie was based loosely on the poet’s comic play “Taming of The Shrew.” It centered around undatable Kat (Julia Stiles) and bad boy outcast Patrick (Heath Ledger) as he tries to win her affection so that sensitive sweetheart Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) can take out her younger sister Bianca (Larissa Oleynik).
Although the plot may be as old as time, there are still some fun facts about the trend-setting movie that may seem brand new.
1. The film's title was inspired by one of the screenwriter's ex-boyfriends.
Karen McCullah said in an interview with University of California TV that her ex-boyfriend Anthony inspired the name of the film.
“I had a boyfriend named Anthony that I was frequently unhappy with. I made a list called Things I Hate About Anthony," she said.
McCullah is still friends with her ex and says that he's very proud of the fact.
"I'll get a random phone call in the middle of the night: 'My nephew doesn't believe that this title is about me. Tell him,'" McCullah continued in the interview. "On the phone, I'm like, 'yes, I hated Anthony in high school.'"
2. Julia Stiles actually cried during the poem scene
Julia Stiles told Cosmopolitan that the tears she cried when she was reading her poem on 10 things she hated about Patrick were real.
"I never expected that I was going to start crying," Stiles said. "I don't know why I did, whether it connected to something going on at the time, or if I was just overwhelmed by the whole experience of making my first big movie.”
3. There are a ton of Shakespeare Easter eggs in the film.
Although the film isn't a direct adaptation to "Taming of The Shrew," there are plenty of nods towards the comedy for the Shakespeare nerds out there.
For starters, Seattle sisters Kat and Bianca are the actual names of the leads in the play. Additionally, Patrick's last name is Verona because that's where Petruchio lives.
The school is called Padua High School because the play is set in Padua. Finally, Cameron (Joseph Gordon Levitt's character) says an actual line from the play when talking about his love interest Bianca: "I pine, I burn, I perish."
4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character learned French to impress a girl, but in real life he is fluent in French
In the movie, Cameron James learns French so he can tutor Bianca. Butin real life, Gordon-Levitt studied French poetry at Columbia University before dropping out to focus on acting. We see these skills again when he plays French acrobat Philippe Petit in "The Walk."
5. Heath Ledger was Julia Stiles first on-screen kiss
She said in an interview with Cosmopolitian that he was the best kisser in Hollywood.
6. Allison Janney improvised her funniest line in the movie.
Janney played guidance counselor Ms. Perky and became one of the film's most favorite characters, according to an interview she did with Buzzfeed.
"I ad-libbed, 'Kat. Meow.' That was me. I do that on some movies when I feel like the atmosphere is right," she told the online news outlet.
She also admitted that the 1999 film was the first movie where she got paid a decent salary in Hollywood.
7. The band Letters to Cleo actually played on top of the roof of the school and it was terrifying
According to Popdose, the band was offered a free trip to Hollywood to be a part of the 90s rom-com. Little did they know that they'd be performing on top of a building in Tacoma, Washington as a helicopter flew over them filming.
Although the movie brought the band a lot of notoriety with their rendition of Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me," it didn't stop them from splitting up a year later.