Mean Girls to Clueless: All the iconic teen movie references and Easter eggs in Do Revenge
There are SO many
Do Revenge on Netflix gives me a glimmer of hope that we are back in the golden age of 90s (and 80s and 00s) teen movies. Think Mean Girls, Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You – it feels like all of those, rolled in to one two-hour long slice of perfection. The new Netflix film actually references all of these and even more – and it’s completely intentional, with the creators revealing a whole load of classic teen movie Easter eggs and nods in Do Revenge.
Jennifer Kaytin Robinson is the director, writer and producer of Do Revenge, and she told Netflix’s Tudum that 90s films like this are “part of her DNA as a person”, but she wanted everything to be subverted and fun. “This movie is a wink, this movie is camp”, she said. Jennifer said some Easter eggs and references to these iconic teen films are intentional in her own movie Do Revenge, but some are accidents that just came from her being so influenced by the classic films.
Here are all the teen movie references and Easter eggs in Do Revenge on Netflix:
Warning: Contains spoilers for Do Revenge
Drea feels like elements of Regina George and Janis Ian all rolled in to one, and Eleanor becoming popular to take down Max (and Drea) mirrors Cady Heron’s journey in Mean Girls. Do Revenge is based around a whole load of mean girls, which are staples of every single classic 90s and 00s teen film. But Jennifer says she was “inspired tonally” by mean girls in classic films, she didn’t directly take from them. “I think it was way more about tone and look and feel. I don’t know that the mean girls in this movie are like the mean girls in those films. That’s not to say that they’re better or worse. We just told a different story.”
The scene where there’s total chaos in the school hallway after Drea and Eleanor send everyone Max’s texts with other girls is “totally” a direct reference to Mean Girls, Jennifer said – the scene where Regina George puts the Burn Book’s pages everywhere and everyone in school loses their minds.
And who could forget the school tour Gabbi gives Eleanor? Like Mean Girls she goes round pointing out all the cliques, but rather than just Jocks and “Art Freaks” this time in Do Revenge the friendship groups at Rosehill have names like “Instagram Witches”. There’s also, obviously, very similar scenes in other teen movies like Clueless. Eleanor even says in response to Gabbi asking if she wants a tour: “I mean, as a disciple of the ’90s teen movie, I would be offended if I didn’t get one.”
John Tucker Must Die
Forget the mean girl characters – Max is firmly in the camp of John Tucker from John Tucker Must Die. After Drea and Eleanor try to “ruin” Max by sending everyone texts that show he’s a cheat, he ends up spinning it with a lie that he and his girlfriend Tara are in an open relationship, and it ends up actually working in his favour. This is the same as what happens with John Tucker, when the four girls team up to try and “get even” with him and he ends up largely just coming off well out of it. Plus Max is said to be sleeping with a girl from every single friendship group or clique, which is exactly what John Tucker does.
Think back to Cher’s yell0w plaid outfit in Clueless – that film was full of so many iconic outfits, and they inspired Do Revenge’s wardrobe, particularly the school uniforms of Rosehill. Jennifer told Tudum the uniforms are also inspired by Japanese pastel plaid uniforms, saying she’d seen images on Pinterest and showed them to Do Revenge costume designer Alana Morshead.
“I really loved them and I saved all of them”, she said. “That was kind of where the inspiration for the pastel plaid uniforms came from. Obviously, a nod to Clueless, but it was way more just wanting the world to feel very colour-soaked and candy-coated. When you think of private school and when you think of uniforms, you think East Coast stuffy. And knowing this was [set in] Miami, it was like everything had to be colour, colour, colour.”
Drea and Eleanor also have classes in Horowitz Hall – as in, Clueless protagonist Cher Horowitz. Jennifer said this one is the most obvious, but there are actually multiple signs around the school set that reference different characters.
Do Revenge’s voiceover at first seems like a nod to Clueless, but it’s actually from Election, a 1999 political satire film. We listen to both Drea and Eleanor’s thoughts in the voiceover, with Jennifer saying: “Obviously, there are many twists and turns in the movie. And so I wanted another device that could further make the audience feel like they knew them and then pull the rug out from under them even more.”
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
Another teen movie that Do Revenge references is Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. “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”, Jennifer told Tudum. Drea’s birthday outfit definitely resembles Romy and Michele, and lots of people have also drawn parallels with the film and Drea and Eleanor’s looks from the big party at the end of Do Revenge.
10 Things I Hate About You
The date between Drea and Russ, when he takes her to his dad’s art studio and they end up throwing paint everywhere and then getting with each other, is pure cinema. Jennifer was inspired by 10 Things I Hate About You, where Patrick and Kat have a very similar paintballing date that ends in their first kiss. Jennifer said: “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.”
But she also said the Do Revenge movie scene unintentionally references The Princess Diaries film, where Mia and her mum throw darts in paint balloons on a big canvas. “So, it’s a little bit Princess Diaries”, Jennifer said. “That’s not something I thought of, though. It’s 10 Things all the way. Someone brought Princess Diaries to me and I was like, ‘I honestly forgot about that scene.’ I’ll be honest, I thought I was being original and I wasn’t.”
The iconic fountain at Rosehill is a homage to Scream, and Jennifer said they built it specially for Do Revenge. “The fountain in the center of Rosehill does not exist in the location. We built that”, she said. “And it is an homage to Scream (1996). Obviously, Do Revenge is not a slasher, but tonally it’s something that I went to a lot.”
There are loads of elements of Cruel Intentions that Jennifer said she was inspired by for Do Revenge. At the school assembly, we see Gabbi reading “Les Liaisons dangereuses”, the French novel Cruel Intentions was based on. The ending too, where Drea and Eleanor skip graduation to drive off in a convertible, is a nod to Annette in Cruel Intentions driving off in Sebastian’s convertible.
Max is similar to Cruel Intentions’ character Sebastian, and Drea and Eleanor calling each other “fucked up soulmates” mirrors Sebastian and Kathryn’s relationship in Cruel Intentions. Speaking of Kathryn, she’s played by Sarah Michelle Gellar – who is also in Do Revenge, playing the headmaster of Rosehill! “It was very out-of-body to direct Sarah Michelle Gellar”, Jennifer said. Speaking to Vanity Fair, she said: “She was the dream, I just didn’t think she was attainable, and she read it and liked it. Sarah said something to me that […] is maybe the best compliment I’ll ever get as a filmmaker ever in my life. She said, ‘When I read the script, I thought, I wish I were 19 so that I could be in this. If I were 19, I would be stalking you to play one of these two characters.'”
Do Revenge is out on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.
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