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“10 Things I Hate About You” and Love About Seattle

5 min read
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It was a decade ago when “10 Things I Hate About You” celebrated Seattle on the silver screen. Do you know how much had Seattle changed in the meantime?

Charming Characters in a Charming City

Pretty, independent, hip, and a bit of a bitter feminist character came to life on the big screen in one of the first major movies to be filmed right in the heart of Seattle. The entire film was shot at real locations; no scenes were done in the studio. We guess that this also gave the movie some vibrant vitality and memorable charm. “10 Things That I Hate About You” captured the ‘90s Seattle, gave it some new glare, and made it famous all around the globe. However, residents of Seattle that went through their early teenage years in the ’90s are probably grateful the most that “10 Things I Hate About You” saved some old, alluring city locations from oblivion. Today’s Seattle and the one from the “10 Things I Hate About You” sometimes seem like two different cities: the streets are the same, the downtown, the shore, but so many details are different — the details that grant the city its soul. But before we get to these details that time swept away, let’s remind ourselves about some things about this silly but charismatic rom-com.

Taming of the Shrew in Downtown Seattle

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This Junger’s movie’s plot is based on Shakespeare’s classic, but it’s not just a teen movie from the ’90s that was a homage to the classics. The famous 90s teen movie Cruel Intentions was based on de Laclos’ timeless classic Dangerous Liaisons. It seems as if the 90s screenwriters were true classic-lovers that enjoyed untangling these classic plots in the modern era.

In “10 Things I Hate About You,” we see more of a witty homage to Shakespeare’s classic than any other form of interpretation of the drama. However, this movie aims more for a Hollywood-type of view upon the world than anything else. It so easily brings about the ‘90s nostalgia with its soundtracks, fashion, filming locations, and the writing itself. The two sisters from Shakespeare’s play now become two American high-school girls all dressed up in lively and casual ‘90s attire. Shakespeare’s untamable and cynical Katherina’s doppelganger in the movie is no other than the feminist played by Julia Stiles.

Katherina from “10 Things I Hate About You” is a sworn feminist, kind of a rebel, a witty and talented nonconformist girl. She reads Sylvia Plath, listens to Joan Jett, and sees right through the superficial personalities of her schoolmates. Julia Stiles surely managed to portray the strong and rebellious character of an untamable beautiful girl. The movie was a big success and launched young Stiles to stardom. But let’s get to our reminiscence about the old downtown Seattle. Maybe Katherina doesn’t “give a damn ‘bout” her “reputation,” but we sure do about Seattle’s reputation on the big screen.

10 Things We Love About Seattle

We all know what the 10 things that Julia hates about Heath are, but remind ourselves for a moment what the 10 things that we absolutely adore about the old, ‘90s Seattle are. Some of them are still here, unchanged, but some of them are no more.

Kerry Park

An iconic location in Seattle, Kerry Park, is in the movie’s opening scene. It is one of the iconic symbols of the city — a well-known park that watches over the lively Emerald City.

Buckaroo Tavern

This old-school bar, packed with bikers, pool tables, and beer was a famous real-life spot in

Seattle. Unfortunately, the Buckaroo closed. Anyhow, the iconic scene from “10 Things I Hate About You” will always pay tribute to this remarkable place.

Fremont Place Book Company

We all remember the bookstore scene with Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, The Feminine

Mystique, and a lot of silly romance. Unfortunately, the famous bookstore can’t be found anymore in downtown Fremont, but the movie will always hold its memory.

The Fremont Troll

This well-known sculpture and one of the symbols of Seattle also appeared in “10 Things I

Hate About You.” Well, since the movie was shot in Seattle, it was impossible not to include this remarkable site. The famous troll appears in the scene in which Bianca and Cameron are talking about Kath and the party. That shot became one of the most recognizable ones from the ‘90s teen movies — the troll under the bridge, two kids, and a lot of ‘90s fashion!

Gas Works Park

Even though you can’t play paintball in Gas Works Park in real life, Julia and Heath surely

had that pleasure in a sweet and silly scene from “10 Things I Hate About You.”

Paramount Theater

Do you remember the glamorous scene with an even more glamorous prom? Well, the scene

was shot at Paramount Theater, Pine Street, 9th Avenue.

Aurora Bridge

Built in the early ’30s, Aurora Bridge crosses the Lake Union with its amazing length of

2,945 ft. The Aurora Bridge made it to the big screen in this teen rom-com.

Tacoma’s Stadium High School

The high-school from the movie is actually a real school in Tacoma. The building is over a century old, and it was intended to be a hotel. All of those funny, silly, touching, and even heartbreaking scenes were shot right here at this building. The charming beauty of Tacoma’s Stadium High School was actually the reason why this movie was shot in Seattle and not in Los Angeles, as it was initially planned.

Ted Brown Music

The location of the store changed over time, but the parking lot where Kat slammed her

car into Joey’s is still there. Again, this was one of the charming locations that captured the

soul of the city and the lives of its youth.

Lake Union

The heart of the Emerald, with its calming glare and majestic beauty, makes its teen movie

debut in “10 Things I Hate About You.” Today, the lake looks just as it did in the movie — peaceful and gracious. If Kerry Park is the eye over the Emerald, Lake Union is certainly its heart.

Do you miss old Seattle? Do you get nostalgic when you see these scenes from “10 Things I Hate About You?” Well, maybe it’s not just the places that you miss; perhaps it’s that spirit of the ‘90s — that charming indie rock, cute fashion, wire phones, visits to the record and book stores, and that naive teen rom-com glare.

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