Well, the day has finally arrived – we found out how he died. I’m not going to lie: I was pretty anxious to learn what happened. For once, it’s not because of that side of me that reads US Weekly and watches Rock of Love. I was personally invested in this because Heath Ledger had raging insomnia like me (or perhaps worse, as I have never channeled a psychotic clown or tried to raise a toddler).
Three of the pills that they found in his room (Ambien, Lunesta and Lorazapam) are the three pills that I take to sleep, and I’ve grown accustomed to mixing them in order to make them work. You guys, when you can’t sleep, it’s so easy to throw pill after pill into the mix – with booze – when none of them are working. The fact that he could take TWO Ambiens and wake up after an hour shocks me and breaks my heart, because staying awake on one Ambien is scary enough.
Those aren’t the pills that killed him, though. And now that we’ve mourned and we know what killed him, this blog entry is already so five minutes ago. So I’d like to segue this into a tribute to one of my favorite movies of all time, 10 Things I Hate About You. Sure, it’s his breakout movie and he’s amazing, but there’s so much more to it. They have been playing this nonstop on cable and you’ve probably been ignoring it, but I’d like to throw out a few reasons why you should give it a shot.
10. It’s a modern day adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. That’s Bill Shakespeare, kids. Now you can feel smarter for watching it (unlike Step Up 2: The Streets, which I will watch just because I LOVE a good breakdance movie).
9. Andrew Keegan at his smarmiest. This guy cheated on Leann Rimes, was in Camp Nowhere AND has my birthday, so I’m automatically a fan.
8. A brief 10-second clip of my favorite season of The Real World (Seattle), staring my favorite Real Worlder (Boston David). FUN FACT: The clip they show is a pre-show interview with him and Nathan at VMI. Nathan and David are the only two cast members who were friends before the show began, which is why they couldn’t say the phrase “seven strangers” in the opening credits for their season. Ask me about The Brady Bunch next.
7. Allison Janney as the school counselor. In every scene, she’s at a computer (maybe even a typewriter? It was the 90’s) working on a romance novel, and everything that comes out of her mouth is filthy and innappropriate and hilarious.
6. Larisa Oleynik, who played FREAKING ALEX MACK back in the day. I have been a superhero junkie since always, and The Secret World of Alex Mack ROCKED! It was perhaps my favorite SNICK show. Here is a montage of her superpowers and fantastic hats:
5. Larry Miller grumbling about “those damn Dawson’s Creek kids” climbing in each other’s windows. TRIVIA: Matilda Ledger’s godmother is my favorite actress Busy Phillips, who played Joey Potter’s roommate on Dawson’s Creek (AND Kim Kelly in Freaks and Geeks).
4. F*#KING LETTERS TO CLEO singing on the roof during the closing credits. “Here and Now” was MY JAM back in the day.
3. My favorite actor David Krumholz, waking up after a party: “I have a dick on my face, don’t I.”
2. Every teen movie has its climax at the prom, and every prom needs a great band. This prom happens to feature my FAVORITE band from high school, Save Ferris. In the summer of 1998, I had a stretch of insomnia so bad that I stayed awake for 3 days. But I loved Save Ferris so much that on day 4 I ate No-Doz all day instead of trying to sleep just so I could see them at Warped Tour. I got a t-shirt signed by T-Bone Willy and Jose Castellanos, and I swear to god Mo pointed at me. MAN that was a fun time. When are the kids bringing ska back? I miss ska.
1. Number one is a tie between two of my favorite scenes (and NO, they are not of Heath Ledger singing, although that was pretty sweet). First up is the paintball kiss that makes me want to run around and kiss boys all day long:
And the other scene is the one where Julia Stiles reads her poem. I remember seeing this in the theater, and between Heath’s intense stare and the moment Julia starts crying mid-sentence, I was blown away. I know it’s supposed to just be a silly teen movie, but during this scene I was very aware that this was incredible acting and I would be seeing these kids a lot more in the future.