Netflix’s “Do Revenge,” starring Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes, has renewed my faith in fun teen comedies.
“Do Revenge” follows the mysterious new kid, Eleanor (Maya Hawke), and exiled queen bee, Drea (Camila Mendes), as they come together in order to get revenge on their respective exes who have ruined their lives. To best execute their plans and avoid suspicion, the girls decide to do each other’s revenge while still coming together to watch the chaos ensue.
The wrongdoings committed against both Drea and Eleanor by their exes are sensitive yet realistic issues: an intimate video of Drea is leaked, and Eleanor is falsely accused of being a predator after coming out as gay to someone she trusted. But this movie handles both topics with absolute grace.
After the absolute train wreck that was Hulu’s “Crush,” I’ve been skeptical of any streaming service movies advertising the inclusion of gay characters within their storylines. I was honestly a little concerned after seeing what Eleanor is seeking revenge for, but it may be the best representation I have ever seen in a teen comedy movie. It’s realistic, doesn’t revolve around someone being outed and Eleanor is given a full storyline with a female love interest.
On the other hand, Drea’s situation is also handled in a realistic yet delicate way. She becomes a social pariah for the video while her ex becomes the poster boy for feminism on their campus.
The story frames the pair so well that you can’t help but root for Eleanor and Drea even if you know they’re a little crazy for creating these elaborate plans to ruin lives. There’s something so satisfying about seeing someone get what’s coming to them — even if it’s not the most ethical thing to destroy someone’s life, it seems so justified within the context of the story.
Though it’s to be expected at this point with the way Netflix is scrambling to stay relevant, the cast list for this movie was actually kind of crazy. It seemed like Netflix made a list of every actor on their payroll and picked out of a hat who to email to the cast. And you know what? It worked. It was fun to see all these familiar faces out of where we would normally see them, most notably getting to see Mendes free from the shackles of Veronica Lodge in “Riverdale.”
Mendes was born for this role. She’s able to effortlessly be a campy mean girl, definitely channeling the best parts of her “Riverdale” acting skills for the less serious parts of this role.
Hawke was just as good. Though seeing her mostly ditch the awkward Robin from “Stranger Things” act was so refreshing, it felt like she was finally able to have a more well-rounded, well-written role, which she deserves.
The two actresses have impeccable chemistry. I genuinely found myself laughing in almost all the scenes they share; their comedic timings complement each other so well that it would be hard to not enjoy their performances individually and as a duo.
I will absolutely not give you any spoilers, but the plot twist of the movie is insane. I thought I had figured it all out about 20 minutes in, but to my surprise, it was so much more than what I had expected, and I absolutely loved it.
In less serious news, this masterpiece also gives us the second-best cover of “B*tch” by Meredith Brooks in the past 10 years, only coming in behind Sue Sylvester’s rendition from “Glee.” It also includes a weird wall portrait of Jackie Kennedy for some reason that I do not understand but do respect if not only for the meme.
Though I think it’s needless to say, I really enjoyed this movie. From the tasteful amount of British people to the c-word usage, to the incredibly attractive cast, this film might as well have had my name written all over it. It’s fun and fresh in a way I had forgotten existed, and it gives so much representation to self-described insane people everywhere.
If I still haven’t fully convinced you, “Do Revenge” is still sitting at number one on Netflix’s movie charts (and for good reason), so now’s a good time as any to cross it off your watchlist.