Monday, February 18, 2008

G'Day Heath

Maybe I should call this the three day weekend blog, since I don't seem to be able to update it unless I have an extra day off. As a result today's topic is a bit belated, but very important to me nonetheless.

You may remember last time I mentioned that I have a weakness for high school movies and television. Because of this predilection, I was in severe shock the whole week surrounding Heath Ledger's untimely, tragic and supposedly accidental death. It took me until Saturday to watch my favorite film of his again. Yes, he packed a brief wallop in Monster's Ball, was brave and brilliant in Brokeback Mountain and much anticipated in The Dark Knight. But, my favorite movie of Heath's was his first real American movie. . . . 10 Things I Hate About You.

As a matter of fact 10 Things is on my list of top 3 high school films, along with She's All That and Drives Me Crazy. I literally could watch those three movies nonstop once a week or so.

Thanks to the website I can remember Heath as he was above with screenshots of his 10 Things movie scenes. In the press that came out about his career after his passing, toward the end of his life, Heath had pretty much dismissed this movie as the first film someone would cast him in. Knight's Tale notwithstanding, he actively shunned the teen dream image in favor of more serious, artsy fare. However, 10 Things undoubtedly put him on the map and was a great start of a career cut too short.

Watching the film on Saturday, it has stood the test of time in that I still get a kick out of the Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew reworking. Heath was fresh, cute as heck and even sings in the film. Since initially seeing the film I have kept an eye on him as well as several other cast members: Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Susan May Pratt, David Krumholtz, Gabrielle Union and even Allison Janney. Joseph has also turned into an incredible indy actor with Brick and The Lookout to his impressive credit. Susan was in two out of the three hs movies mentioned above, since she also played a not-so-true friend in Drive Me Crazy. Julia has been in the Bourne trilogy, the first of which made me begin to re-evaluate Matt Damon. Allison was superb in The West Wing and the new recent classic Juno. David is doing Numb3rs on tv, but I remember him more for the memorable bit part he had on ER back in the Dr. Carter days. And finally, Gabrielle was also in She's All That.

So, my point is that 10 Things was a great starting point for several actors, with the brightest star being Heath. He will be missed by me and I'll always wonder what kind of work he would have treated us to in the future. I saw The Dark Knight preview yesterday in the theater and I will be seeing the movie this summer because of Heath. It looks like a creepy end to a career that started with a little big high school movie. I bet its THE blockbuster of the summer.

R.I.P. Patrick Verona

1 comment:

Penny Ronning said...

This still creates a void and a deep sadness in my heart. How such a young man touched so very, very many lives is truly remarkable. Heath Ledger was an incredible person who simply embodied the meaning of hope each time he smiled. I believe he was one of the finest actors...period. And what a body of work he created in such a short time. He was beyond talented, he was absolutely gifted.