I Hate Cheesy-Romance Films. I Don’t Hate 10 Things I Hate About You.

10 Things I Hate About You is the best thing to come out of the 90’s.

I’m biased. I fully admit it.

I don’t like cheesy rom-coms because they bore me. But Ten Things I Hate About You isn’t like other rom-coms and you can pry it off my laptop hard drive from under my cold dead body. I’m making the assumption that you’ve watched this movie – but if you haven’t, do yourself a favour and see it. No one can argue with its engrossing story, excellent soundtrack, great cast, and the dynamite duo of 90’s Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles.

Ledger wears shiny pants, Stiles gets covered in paint and laughs about it – my uselessly bisexual self can’t handle it. I watched this movie so many times that my plan for an ideal date still revolves around the idea of spontaneous paintball that ends with us rolling around in the hay kissing. Don’t ask me how you can plan ‘spontaneous’ paintball, I’ve never worked that out.

When Valentine’s Day rolls around, with its inevitable emphasis on watching romantic films with your significant other, I always get to thinking about what a ‘romantic’ film actually is for me – beyond, of course, the self-insertion wish-fulfilment appeal of watching attractive people fall in love on a screen.

I think what draws me to the paintball scene is not the actual paintball or the kissing, but rather what the paintball and the kissing represent. It’s a moment between two people who let themselves be vulnerable idiots for and with each other. Throughout the film, we see Kat and Patrick fall for each other, making themselves vulnerable and finding that they’re accepted and understood by one-another.

It’s impossible to go on without mentioning the scene where Patrick hijacks the announcement system to perform ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You’ for Kat on the bleachers, complete with band accompaniment and dorky-fun dance moves. It’s a funny, cheesy, dumb-ass act and by no means is it a moment of swooning violins. But it works as a romantic gesture because of the vulnerability implicit in this act of ‘sacrificing himself on the altar of dignity’. There’s something real sexy about someone making a fool of themselves to make you laugh; making themselves vulnerable for you and hoping that you embrace and accept this part of them. There’s also something real sexy about Ledger’s singing, but that’s a given.

Arguably, it’s the mutual act of seeing and being seen by one another that allows for Patrick and Kat’s paint balling scene. It doesn’t matter that they act foolish in front of one another in this scene, because it’s already been done in front of everyone else. Patrick and Kat can just be in the paint balling scene – they don’t have to worry about maintaining the pretences and walls that everyone has one some level. They’re just two people throwing paint, rolling in hay, and falling in love. Now that’s what I call romance.

Romance is more than just the funny easy parts though, it’s also emotional vulnerability – and there is no better moment of emotional vulnerability that the titular scene where Kat reads her poem to Patrick in front of the entire class. It would be easy for Patrick to scoff, to maintain his image and security by mocking her feelings. But he doesn’t. In that moment he sees her (metaphorically) laid bare and completely accepts her. Her vulnerability is embraced and then returned with his own. It kills me every time.

If I ask for nothing else within romance, I ask to be accepted in my vulnerability. It might lack the passions of Pride and Prejudice or the high-drama of The Notebook but 10 Things portrays this so well. Forget angsty speeches in the rain or sexually charged touches. People letting themselves be vulnerable and not thinking of how they’ll look doing dumb stuff with the other person is where it’s at in romance. Bury me in roses and call me Cupid, because that melts me into a little puddle of goo. If, like me, you hate cheesy cliches but you want to watch an appropriately valentine-y movie, then crack open some hay bales and don your best 90’s clothing because 10 Things I Hate About You is calling your name.


 

Words by Taeghan Buggy

A Nice Time to be Alive: Ruby Fields, San Cisco, and Ball Park Music live at the Thebby Theatre

On a mild Friday night in the bloody beautiful city of Adelaide, a keen crowd gathered to watch Ruby Fields, San Cisco and Ball Park Music at the Thebarton Theatre – a one off spectacle! Let me give you a rundown on the fabulous night it was.

A little side note before we get started: it was polo shirt night, meaning every performer was adorably dressed in a polo-shirt. Oh, the aesthetic!

We kicked off with a beauty, I had no idea Ruby Fields had such a following! The crowd was far larger than expected for any pre-show at the Thebby and we were well and truly taken by this groovy gal. We spent most of her set having a good old jive to her upbeat tunes, such as ‘I Want’ and ‘P-Plates’. Don’t get me wrong, there were also sensitive moments: I got a lump in my throat half way through Field’s performance of her most recent single, ‘Dinosaurs’ – a song about the simplicities of childhood. But really, Fields won us over the second she mentioned our beloved Hahndorf.

Next up was Jordi, Jen, Josh, and Scarlett, San Cisco were in the house! When debriefing with my buddies later in the night, we couldn’t help but notice how wonderfully unique San Cisco are; no other band are so brutally honest yet pleasurably palatable. Lyrics such as ‘why does it feel so good to be self-destructing again?’, ‘I want to be with you forever, but I need space, you should stay at your place’ and ‘if you’re going to break his heart, could you break it gently please?’ are about as real as it gets. However, the best part is that their music is somehow it is angst-free. The harsh truths hide behind fantastic guitar solos, Jordi’s high vocal tendencies and the up-beat tempo of their tunes. They featured some of their most recent works like ‘Hey Did I Do You Wrong?’ and ‘Slow-Mo’, alongside some original San Cisco such as ‘Fred Astaire’ and ‘Magic’, before finishing the set with ‘Too Much Time Together’. San Cisco speak to those in their early 20s in a way no other band can.

After all this excitement the crowd flocked to the bar to get some well-needed fluids into their system. A couple of Adelaide gems were spotted in the lobby, with the likes of Liam Stapleton, one half of the Triple J breakfast radio show, and Callum Hann, runner-up from MasterChef 2010, floating about. Oh Adelaide, you always see a familiar face.

For Ball Park Music, my friends and I decided to take a seat. This is the first time I have ever sat down at a concert – it had been a long day, we were hot and bothered and our feet hurt (we are only 21, I promise). So, we cushioned ourselves in the well air-conditioned seated section at the back of the Thebby with a dead-centre view of the stage. And I am so glad that this is how I experienced the magic of Ball Park Music.

There is something breathtaking about sitting back and watching a sea of people share emotional experiences through song. We saw the crowd hush, cheer, dance, and bop in unison. Ball Park Music are often taken for granted – they have been a consistently good band for the last decade. I honestly forgot how much I loved them until I saw them play in this environment. Their music had been the background to many significant moments for me in the last few years, and I hadn’t even noticed. I’m sure others came to this realisation as well. The melancholic nature of their lyrics, mixed with Sam Cromack’s calming yet energised familiar voice give you those tingling goose bumps.

I will admit I got emotional many times during their set, particularly listening to the crowd singing along to ‘Everything is Shit Except My Friendship With You’, ‘The Perfect Life Does Not Exist’ and ‘Exactly How You Are’. ‘It’s Nice to be Alive’ – possibly one of the most uplifting songs of our generation – met every expectation as a spotlight landed on Cromack and the crowd sounded out each word, loud and clear. They also offered sweet Adelaide a treat, finishing with a song which they hadn’t yet performed their tour: they belted out a phenomenal rendition of the Beatles classic, ‘Hey Jude’, which left me thinking that although the perfect life does not exist, this moment in this life comes pretty damn close.

I enthusiastically suggest that you get around all of these artists – they all encapsulate the most relatable of experiences through their music. They were the perfect trio, performing in a perfect venue, in a perfect city, to a practically perfect crowd. It is VERY nice to be alive.


Words and photography by Michelle Wakim.