Director: Ari Sandel
Cast: Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Ken Jeong
Genre: Teen, Comedy, Romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Australian Release: 2nd April 2015
* * *
On Monday I had the immense pleasure of attending an advanced screening of The DUFF, an adaption of the novel with the same name by Kody Keplinger.
The story revolves around Bianca Piper – The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Unknowingly overshadowed by her two gorgeous best friends, she learns her ‘DUFF’ status from the high school man-whore Wesley Rush who points out to her that while she is neither fat or ugly, people use her to get to her much hotter friends. Although initially insulted (who wouldn’t be?) she takes her social status as a challenge – to reinvent herself as an individual and not as the third-wheel DUFF. As she reluctantly recruits Wesley in her challenge, they both begin to learn the true meaning of the word.
Necessary disclaimer: As someone who was HORRIFIED when I found out the DUFF term actually exists, I was hesitant to approach this book/movie, so I understand if some are you are too. But I think it deals with the theme well and in an uplifting and body positive way.
Having read the novel a few months ago, I was both excited to see such a refreshing novel brought to the big screen and incredibly nervous about how it was going to be done (if you’ve seen the Vampire Academy movie…you’ll know the disappointment I was dreading).
The movie changed A LOT, and I mean A LOT when compared to the book.
But surprisingly, this put it in the 1% of book to movie adaptations – it actually worked. I enjoyed the movie immensely and while I loved the book, it was – dare I say it- decidedly better than the book. Gasp!
I would say that it is unfair to compare the two. Although the characters and general storyline are the same…that’s really about it. So many changes (GOOD changes) make it quite unique from the book.
However, I was disappointed at the small amount of scenes with just Bianca, Jessica and Casey – I feel like their friendship could have been handled better and was perhaps pushed aside for the Wesley and Bianca interactions. An unfortunately necessary evil, but perhaps not the best choice considering their friendship played such a large role in the novel.
Nevertheless, this was a damn good teen movie. It was HILARIOUS – think Pitch Perfect humour mixed with Easy A.
Mae and Robbie had fantastic comedic timing and I so enjoyed seeing Ken Jeong (from The Hangover and Community for those of you who don’t know) do his thing.
Mae Whitman was fantastic as Bianca. She played Bianca with just the right amount of sass, sarcasm and IDGAF attitude and completely rocked it – a far cry from her Parenthood role and proof of her expanding acting prowess.
Robbie Amell was just as good in his role as Wesley. Having never seen him play anything but the broody male figure in multiple supernatural shows, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well he can pull off comedy. I’d say a good 60% of the laughs were purely from his scenes.
And let’s not forget the multiple male shirtless scenes.
DAMN. Robbie Amell is fineeeeee. For those of you who haven’t seen him in the abundance of television shows (mostly cancelled) he’s been in – he’s related to Stephen Amell, the guy who plays Arrow in Arrow.
Aka this guy.
Bless those Amell genes.
Seriously. If Robbie Amell shirtless isn’t reason enough to see this movie I don’t know what is.
Yes, it was cliched and cheesy. Aren’t all teen movies? But it was just done SO right. I came out of this movie wanting to watch it again immediately. I’m going to drag all my friends multiple times to see this movie. Definitely one of the best teen movies I’ve seen in a LONG time.
I now leave you with the fine male specimen that is Robbie Amell.
Thank you to Hachette for the Advanced Screening and Joy for taking me along with her!
Catch The Duff around Australia from April 2nd 2015.
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