November 13, 2003

Viewer Discretion Advised

Print More

If the test of time is what separates the classics from the mere popular works, then there are two entities which have undoubtedly reached classic status. They are the two most oft quoted sources — the Bible and Shakespeare. The Bible, some several thousand years later, is still perhaps the most relevant work in our modern society, and it continues to serve as the guiding force for millions of lives, from Venezuela to Virginia to even the White House. However, Shakespeare’s masterpieces have also proven overwhelmingly relevant in this day and age, as evidenced by a new surge of films that have so powerfully demonstrated the connection between the bard’s timeless classics and the dating woes of hot, rich blonde kids in California.

10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things, a loose adaptation of Taming of the Shrew, is undoubtedly the shining star of the Shakespeare meets inane teenage culture genre. Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) is only allowed to date if her gorgeous sister Kat (Julia Stiles) also manages to find a boy with whom she will consent to consort. Therefore, Bianca must undergo the impossibly daunting task of finding a suitor for her ridiculously hot sister. Luckily, a mysterious foreigner, complete with long hair and an accent, comes along just in time to steal Stiles’s heart. Furthermore, Stiles’s poem “I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair … I hate it when you’re not around, and that you didn’t call. But mostly I hate the way I don’t even hate you — not even close, not even a little bit, not at all,” now lives on in immortality in the away messages of every girl who has recently endured a traumatic breakup.

Get Over It

Berke (Ben Foster) gets dumped by his long-time girlfriend Allison, on the premise that “things change, the bread gets moldy, people die.” At least Get Over It successfully captures the intricacies of Shakespeare’s poetic style. In an effort to win Allison back, the talentless Berke decides to audition for a rock and roll version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream, where he will be able to keep tabs on his ex and her new boyfriend with an on-again off-again British accent. However, in the process of trying to win Allison back, he instead falls for his best friend’s little sister, co-star Kelly (Kirsten Dunst). In order to declare his undying love for Kelly, Berke ad-libs a new ending onto the timeless Shakespeare piece. Apparently, the bread did, in fact, get moldy. Perhaps a day will come when I no longer can derive pleasure from predictable and trite teen flicks. Whereas that day is a long way off from now, I am forced to admit that I enjoyed all ninety minutes of Get Over It.


You know the feeling you get when you’re stuck on an infinitely long bus ride, and all you want is to pee, but the bus driver refuses to pull over? Now multiply that feeling by five. Now pretend that the bus is going to Trenton. That same uncomfortable, squeamish, ready to jump out of your skin feeling is the most accurate description I can give for my sentiments throughout this painful adaptation of Othello. Without Shakespeare’s trademark poetic genius, O was merely a melodramatic mockery of the great tragedy of a man who loved not wisely, but too well.

Archived article by Talia Ron