Poor Generation Z: Unlike those of us who grew up within the late ’90s and early aughts, they haven’t skilled the joy of coming of age throughout a glorious period of teen comedies. Blockbuster hits from She’s All That to Not Another Teen Movie to Mean Girls captured the chaotic essence of the brand new millennium possibly more than another form of media. But despite the presence of wildly well-liked teen reveals like Euphoria, the teen movie—by definition, a lightweight comedy that dives into the “emotional torrent of adolescence”—hasn’t had a 2020s renaissance.
Netflix’s new runaway hit, director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s Do Revenge, could be right here to change that. The movie delicately walks the road between outright satire of and earnest homage to the genre that raised so many of us—while also remaining refreshingly genuine to the ethos of Gen Z culture.
Do Revenge, which stars Riverdale’s Camila Mendes and Stranger Thing’ Maya Hawke, has a basic teen-romp plot. Drea Torres (Mendes) is the most popular lady with all the fixings—a “sizzling” and wealthy boyfriend, gorgeous girlfriends, and a one-path monitor to Yale—but she’s had to work for everything she has. She doesn’t come from money and has fastidiously curated her school social life to replicate the world she wants for herself. After an intimate video she sends to her boyfriend, Max (Austin Abrams), is “leaked” (spoiler alert: he leaks it), she unexpectedly groups up with social outcast Eleanor (Hawke), who’s in search of revenge on a bully of her own.
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We will not spoil the twist ending, but we’ll say this: Do Revenge simply could be probably the most deliciously fun teen film since Mean Girls. (No shade whatsoever supposed towards the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy; those aren’t a lot comedies, as we firmly place these underneath the “teen romance” category.)
What makes Do Revenge work is that it’s a teen film that knows it’s a teen film. This meta method is what has attracted not just teenage viewers but also older millennials who keep in mind the exact films Do Revenge pays respect to. You can argue about whether or not it’s a good thing that our tradition is so saturated with nostalgia—not simply in film, but in addition trend and music as well—but Do Revenge manages to do nostalgia while making it really feel new, because of quippy screenwriting and a good-natured willingness to poke enjoyable at woke culture.
Below, we explain the five main elements that make a great teen movie, and why Do Revenge deserves its spot on the record with the most effective of them.
Films like Clueless and She’s the Man are known for their extravagant takes on teen trend, and Do Revenge is no different. The characters’ clothing choices—which embody feather-trimmed co-ord sets, PVC sunhats, and sequined sizzling pants—are as hilarious as their one-liners. In the same way the script exaggerates Gen Z lingo, Do Revenge additionally satirizes the current state of teen type.
OG Teen Queen herself Sarah Michelle Gellar—a formative a part of the late-’90s teen movie renaissance—plays the headmaster within the film. Gellar starred in a slew of shows and films across the turn of the millennium together with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer collection, Cruel Intentions, and Simply Irresistible.
Popular Girl Falls for the Outcast Guy
Hot girls don’t desire rich, self-absorbed boyfriends. They want grungy artists with hearts of gold! Much like in Clueless when Cher falls for Josh or in 10 Things I Hate About You when Kat admits her love for Patrick, Drea falls for emo British king Russ.
A Great Soundtrack
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Do Revenge does a wonderful job of incorporating basic hits with earworms of right now. While the film options instantly recognizable hits from Rosalía, Billie Eilish, and Hayley Kiyoko, it also mixes in radio classics from Hole, Third Eye Blind, Robyn, and more.
The film’s opening and closing scenes run musically parallel: Olivia Rodrigo’s “Brutal” makes a booming cameo within the first few minutes of the movie, and it ends with one of the pop star’s authentic inspirations, “Bitch,” the ’90s hit during which Meredith Brooks reminds us that she’s a bitch, a lover, a toddler, and a mother.
Best Friends Who Are a Little Bit in Love with Each Other
Eleanor says it greatest in Do Revenge, “I’m a teenage lady. We’re psychopaths.” There’s nothing fairly like the all-encompassing power of teenage (and generally toxic) feminine friendship, and the film showcases all the nice, the unhealthy, and the ugly that can be crammed into that framework. Mendes and Hawke have unbelievable chemistry as actors, and it leaves the viewer pondering, “Are they friends? Enemies? Or are they flirting?” It’s an important element that retains viewers along for the ride.
Bianca Betancourt is the Culture Editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com the place she covers all things music, movie, and TV. When she’s not writing she loves impulsively baking a batch of cookies, re-listening to the identical early 2000s pop playlist and stalking Mariah Carey’s Twitter feed.