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10 Things I Hate About You and the Pursuit of Happiness

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10 Things I Hate About You and the Pursuit of Happiness 10 Things I Hate About You is a Shakespearian parody that is based on his literary work, Taming the Shrew, but also pays homage to his other works as well. This film is a loose adaptation that uses modern day teenage problems and settings as well as modern day language in place of Shakespeare’s old world customs and a language that has long since been put to rest. While this film has many archetypical characters, concepts, themes and symbols, one thing sticks out the most and that is the concept of the pursuit of happiness. No matter what day in age we are in this is a concept that we as humans are always trying to obtain. The induction of this film surrounds around the character Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a new-comer that is being shown around by school by his new friend Michael, as he burns, pines and perishes over the sweet, sexy and much adored innocence that is Bianca Stratford (Larissa Oleynik). It is here that you learn that she is untouchable as her tyrannical father will not let her date. At this time, you are also introduced to a few key characters such as Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), the egocentric king of the popular crowd and Katarina “Kat” Stratford (Julia Stiles), the polar opposite of her younger sister and plays an ill-tempered harridan with cutting wit that is hell bent to not be tempted by the idiocies of teenage life. It is here that the pursuit of happiness starts. Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is so blinded by love that he does not see that while Bianca (Larissa Oleynik) is sweet and innocent in many ways, she is also very self-absorbed. He begins his pursuit of happiness when he finds that Bianca (Larissa Oleynik) can date when her older sister does, by persuading Joey (Andrew Keegan) to pay Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), the mysterious outsider that everyone fears, to take out Kat (Julia Stiles) and there by creates a love triangle between Bianca (Larissa Oleynik), Joey (Andrew Keegan) and Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). The character Joey (Andrew Keegan) is simple in his own pursuit of happiness in that he wants in life are of materialistic nature. He wants to be famous and expects all women to want him and to want to give their virtue to him. It is because of this that he takes the bait to pay Patrick (Heath Ledger) to take out Kat (Julia Stiles). Patrick (Heath Ledger) comes off as shallow as his pursuit of happiness seems revolved around money in the beginning. Later you find that he like Kat (Julia Stiles) have the same wants and needs. Both character’s pursuits of happiness seem to be the same in that in the end they both wanted someone who would challenge them and love them for who they really are. Bianca (Larissa Oleynik) is a more complex character in that she seeks happiness through the adoration of her peers and her father. However, she soon realizes that there is more to life than that and seeks to fly out on her own out from under the over-protective wings of her older sister and her father to prove that she can stand on her own two feet. The last main character in this film on a quest for happiness is Dr. Walter Stratford (Larry Miller). He plays the over-protective father of the Stratford sisters. His seeks happiness in knowing that his daughters are safe; a mission of all fathers alike. He realizes throughout the film that suffocating rules may keep your child safe, but not happy. He then understands that you can raise a child with good morals and values, but you have to let them go and trust that they will falter in those values. He then realizes that his happiness is dependent on his daughter’s happiness. The pursuit of happiness is a concept that rings clear throughout this whole picture and the ways that it is portrayed speaks volumes to whom this film was intended, the teenage crowd. This film teaches that in the pursuit of happiness, you should keep a strong sense of self. 10 Things I Hate About You, also has very strong female leads that allow teenage girls to be proud of intelligence and that it is okay to step of out the group and become and individual.…...

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