Culture

All The Times 'Do Revenge' Sneakily (And Blatantly) Referenced Iconic '90s And '2000s Movies

We knew some of these felt familiar.

By Lucy Cocoran
What makes a really, really good teen movie? Is it the costuming, the plot, the soundtrack or the characters? In the case of Do Revenge, it has all those things and then some. While undoubtedly original (and very much Gen Z), the movie has largely seen success from its nostalgia hit that reconnected many of us with the iconic teen movies we know and love from our own high school days.
Drawing inspiration from iconic 90s and 2000s flicks like Clueless, Mean Girls and 10 Things I Hate About You, the Netflix original had countless Easter egg moments that payed homage to its cinematic forefathers, from the classic makeover scene to the musical score.
Below, all the subtle and not-so subtle references to other movies that we spotted in Do Revenge.

the paintball scene: '10 things i hate about you'

Two hot people kissing while covered in paint was an idea brought to us by the creators of 10 Things I Hate About You. Drea and Russ' love affair begins after they start a friendly paintball fight in his loft, which inevitably leads to some steamy lip-locking. We're not mad about it.
"It's 10 Things all the way," said Do Revenge's writer-director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, confirming the inspiration to Netflix's Tudum. "Kiwi Smith, who wrote 10 Things I Hate About You, actually came to one of the first early screenings of the movie and gave me her blessing. Then, I used it."

the graduation party scene: 'romy and michele's highschool reunion'

Nobody can stop talking about Eleanor and Drea's graduation party outfits, and for good reason. The film's costume designer Alana Morshead told Instyle that Drea's outfit was inspired by supermodel Cara Bruni's 1995 Versace metallic blue gown, while Eleanor's look came to her overnight.
There's no denying that the general aesthetic of these looks combined with the strong power poses is giving major Romy & Michele energy.
"We definitely talked about Romy and Michele a lot," Robinson told Tudum. "I wasn't directly inspired by Romy and Michele, but that was a movie we spoke about a lot in terms of finding the visual language and the vibes for the costumes. That was a huge touchstone for us."

the fountain scene: 'scream'

Every posh school in movies seems to have a water feature, because, why not? Do Revenge's pretty posse was frequently seen perched atop the fountain, showing off their impeccable school style and having a gossip. Sound familiar? That's because it's something that the popular kids in Scream used to do, except they were discussing how to avoid becoming the next murder victim.
You might also be surprised to learn that the Do Revenge team was so keen on having a fountain, that they actually had to build one especially for the movie.
"The fountain in the center of Rosehill does not exist in the location," Robinson told Vanity Fair. "We built that. And it is an homage to Scream. Obviously, Do Revenge is not a slasher, but tonally it's something that I went to a lot."

the cliques scene: 'clueless'

Clueless was iconic for a myriad of reasons, but one teen movie trope it undoubtedly deserves credit for, is the introduction to the school's cliques. In every high school movie, we see the newbie experience an introduction to all the various social groups that exist on campus. In the case of Do Revenge, Eleanor is shown around by Gabbi, but not before breaking the fourth wall by saying: "I mean, as a disciple of the '90s teen movie, I would be offended if I didn't get one," in response to being asked if she would like a tour.
While Clueless, in all its 90s glory, had cliques like the Persian Mafia, the TV Station group and popular boys. The cliques in Do Revenge feature the farm kids (with Drea referring to their leader as a 'human Birkenstock'), the Instagram witches, the horny theater nerds, and Rosehill's "royal court, the cream of the incredibly entitled crop."
We've seen the cliques scene play out multiple times in the likes of Mean Girls and even the Bratz movie, but honestly, it never gets old.

the makeover scene: 'jawbreaker'

No movie about the highschool experience is complete until someone gets a makeover (think Mean Girls, Clueless and She's All That), so it came as a shock to nobody that Do Revenge incorporated a glow-up storyline of its own. Despite having a seemingly endless slew of movies to choose from, this particular makeover was inspired by the transformation of Fern Mayo in the 1999 movie, Jawbreaker, right down to Eleanor's blonde hair.
"I do think that there's definitely some Fern Mayo energy in Eleanor," Robinson told Tudum.

school hallway chaos: 'mean girls'

Any kind of chaos taking place in a school hallway is straight from the pages of the Mean Girls playbook (or should we say burn book). When Regina George photocopies the chaos from its evil pages and distributes it throughout the school we see utter carnage unfold, with students rioting in the hallway, fighting each other, and in some cases, calling their mothers crying.
In Do Revenge, Drea attempts to orchestrate a similar level of drama by leaking her ex-boyfriend multiple cheating scandals with girls from different cliques and watching as people spill into the hallways in frantic screams. Unfortunately, her plan backfires, as he peddles the narrative that he is in a committed (but ethically non-monogamous) relationship, which therefore excuses his multiple partners. We are living in a woke era after all.

sarah michelle gellar: 'cruel intentions'

The 90s movie Easter Eggs wouldn't be complete without the comeback of a 90s icon — in this case, it was Sarah Michelle Gellar. Taking on the role as the fierce headmaster of Rosehill, Gellar is giving major Kathryn from Cruel Intentions energy, which was apparently intentional.
"[I] literally thought about Kathryn from Cruel Intentions, like, if she was the headmaster of the school, what advice would she give?" Robinson told IndieWire.
SHAREPIN
  • undefined: Lucy Cocoran