It’s an incredible feat for any movie to try and recreate the unique environment that is high school. The DUFF tries to do exactly that, with some failures and some successes.
Based on the book by Kody Keplinger, The DUFF follows the life of Bianca as she discovers that she is a DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). It’s Wesley, her high school jock neighbor, who breaks the news to her. But turns out, Wesley is not your typical high school jock.
He a brutally honest, optimistic man-whore who watches a lot of Project Runway. He’s also struggling to pass chemistry which he needs for his football scholarship. Okay, so a little typical, but it’s necessary for the plot. After discovering she’s the DUFF, Bianca makes a bargain with Wesley: tutoring in exchange for lessons on how to not be the DUFF, to impress her crush, Toby. And thus the adventure begins.
As with all high school films, there are some characteristics that are accurate and others that are not. I can’t speak for the entirety of high schools across the nation, but it would be difficult for any movie to portray the ever changing genuity of an individual’s high school experience.
The issue with high school is that it’s very difficult to have defined crowds when it’s such a big place. You can never crown a most popular person or the most popular people. I do understand that in the movie, the possibility of a most popular person, in this case, Madison, is exaggerated to fit with the plot of the story.
The other difference is that rarely do the popular just start the rumours — they usually are the rumours. In the movie, Bianca becomes of the topic of several videos that are made by Madison. When it comes to gossip, people like to talk about and tweet about the most popular people in the school, not the unknown people like Bianca.
Other than that, the movie holds many good qualities that shows that life is not perfect. Bianca faces many ups and downs in the story that are a little more accurate towards everyday life. The relationships she has are genuine and backed up with friendly banter, which you rarely see in the majority of love stories.
My only concern is the title. The introduction of the term DUFF might have a negative effect on the majority of insecure girls despite the message the movies is trying to convey. People tend to take negative comments more personally than positive ones.
But the message behind the film is really to avoid putting yourself inside a box. It’s funny and does a good job of portraying high school and our generation of students. If you can overlook the title and appreciate its moral, then you should watch the film.