When I was fourteen, my ringtone, for about six months, was Julia Styles’ poem from the end of 10 Things I Hate About You. Any time I got a call or a text it would buzz, and Styles’ voice would go from apathetic to emotional. It would crack as the emotion swelled in, and then I’d answer. I open with this tidbit as an example of the vice-like grip movies like 10 Things I Hate About You held over my adolescence. I devoured these movies and watched them over and over without realising there was a single thread that they all had in common: they were based on classic literature. Whether I was forming feelings over Ryan Phillippe’s bare ass in Cruel Intentions, becoming deeply involved in the gender-bending high-jinks at the centre of She’s The Man, or quoting lines from Easy A word-for-word with friends, all these movies were exploring and unpacking issues written about centuries before.
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