Ten Things I Hate About You and Its Relevance to a Modern Audience

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Ten Things I Hate About You and its Relevance to a Modern Audience

Although the movie Ten Things I Hate About You is based on a Shakespearian play, it was released in 1999 so it was essential that the director Gil Junger made it both relevant and appealing to a modern audience. He does this primarily through alterations to the setting and the characters, with few changes to the basic plot. The target audience is teenagers, and all the major characters are also teenagers and are all in high school, making it much easier for the viewers to relate to them.

The film is set in Padua Stadium High School, which is intended to be representative of a typical American high school. The film isn’t meant to be realistic and would be boring if it didn’t dramatise teenage life, but at all times it retains the suspension of disbelief. The two best reasons for choosing a high school as the setting for this film are that the target audience will be able to relate to it better and it is more believable that teenagers in high school would act like the characters in the play than any other age group.

This setting allows the use of many stereotypical groups, as are pointed out by one of the characters early on, which helps the audience understand the characters faster and also makes it clearer when there is character development as they no longer fit with their old groups.

The two lead characters are Kat Stratford and Patrick Verona. Their names are references to the Shakespearian play, as Kat Stratford is based on the character Katharina and Stratford-Upon-Avon was Shakespeare’s birthplace, and Patrick Verona is based on the character Petruchio, who came from Verona in the play. Both of them play roles designed to contrast against the other students in the school who are driven by peer-pressure, the desire for popularity and acceptance and the fear of embarrassment. This makes them even more appealing to the target audience of teenagers, the majority of whom wish they...
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