By Joules Dellinger
Do you remember the years 1999–2001 in movies? Those were the years that Shakespearian remakes were really in the spotlight. I think once Romeo + Juliet (1996) hit it big, the studios all decided to jump on board with cool, modern film adaptions of Shakespearean plays. And they made them extra snazzy by including Hollywood cool kids.
Let’s celebrate Julia Stiles by revisiting her Shakespeare trifecta of movies: Ten Things I Hate About You, Hamlet, and O.
Synopsis: After learning that Bianca Stratford is forbidden to date until her man-hating older sister Kat finds a beau, Bianca's would-be boyfriend hatches a plan: pay moody school rebel Patrick Verona to escort the churlish Kat around town.
The plot was based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and used many of the same names and even sneaks in some direct quotes. This version was a cute romantic comedy with Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, Gabrielle Union, and more. It was pretty perfect when it comes to the 1999 teen movie… romance, a house party, the CLOTHES, and of course, Heath singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”
Synopsis: The president of the Denmark Corporation has recently been found dead, and his wife has re-married the man suspected of the murder. Her son, Hamlet, is consumed with revenge and his love affair with the forbidden Ophelia.
This one was a pretty close adaption, with modern aspects thrown into it. The drama starred Ethan Hawke along with Liev Schreiber, Steve Zahn, Sam Shepard, and Bill Murray. Julia Stiles stared as Ophelia, of course. Fun fact: the only lines in the movie which are not from the original play are messages played by machines or in song.
Synopsis: This modern retelling of "Othello" takes place in an exclusive boarding school where Odin James is the star basketball player and sole black student. Jealousy drives the basketball coach's son into an elaborate and deadly scheme to take Odin down.
This was Julia Stiles’ third modern film adaption of a Shakespearean play. In O (aka Othello), she played Desi Brable (Shakespearean name Desdemona). This version stared such “teen” dreams as: Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett, Andrew Keegan, and Rain Phoenix. This story actually follows Othello’s plot pretty closely, but with modern language. Fun fact: The music at the end of the movie is from the end of Verdi's opera Otello, which was also based on the Shakespearean play.
Joules Dellinger has been blogging since 2011 at Pocketful of Joules on everything from fashion, travel, parenting, thrifting and lots of lots of silliness.
She likes movies where the women kick butt and the men are goofy (and shirtless). She doesn’t care which Kardashian is pregnant and thinks Beyoncé is overrated. Follow her on Twitter at @JoulesDellinger or on Instagram at @PocketfulofJoules.