Director: Ari Sandel
Cast: Mae Whitman, Robbie Amel, Bella Thorne, Bianca A. Santos, Skyler Samuels, Ken Jeong
Age Rating: 12A/PG-13
Running Time: 101 minutes
This year saw the resurrection of the high school teen flick, which came in the form of a 101 minute feature film from director Ari Sandel, exploring the meaning of the acronym ‘DUFF’ which we come to realise applies to more of us than we would have thought!
Hosting a relatively uknown cast, this film stars Mae Whitman as its protagonist Bianca, with supporting roles from the likes of Bella Thorne (Blended, Scream [TV Series]) and Robbie Amel (TV Series; The Tomorrow People & The Flash).
Drawing parallels to countless other teen flicks, this film focuses on one girl, Bianca (Mae Whitman) and the overly-exaggerated school dramas and personalities surrounding her. The twisit in this plot however, is that Bianca already has a group of close friends, Casey (Bianca A. Santos) and Jess (Skyler Samuels), but unfortunately her childhood neighbour Wesley (Robbie Amel) has shocked her into believing that she is only in her friendship group as the ‘designated ugly fat friend’, known more bluntly as this film’s title, the DUFF!
Captivated by this acronym, Bianca sets out to change her look and her relationships with guys in particular for good, proving to Wesley, herself and the majorly unconvincing ‘queen bee’ Madison, played by Bella Thorne that she is not a DUFF.
This film is full of cheesy comedy and sentiment, with an intelligent modern approach to a teen flick and some laugh-out-loud moments. I do feel that this film only grabbed the attention it got because of its similarities to the likes of MEAN GIRLS and EASY A, but unfortunately re-makes and re-imaginations of older films seem to be common decisions by Hollywood these days.
However, as a sucker for romantic comedies and teen flicks, my criticism above does not mean that I did not enjoy the film. If anything, it was the complete opposite! Much like Jimmy Fallon claimed on his show last week, THE DUFF is certainly entertaining and I had a great time watching it. I was transported to the teen world, made all the more hilarious by the generation’s dependency on technology and the endless jokes aimed at that addiction. The ending was very cheesy, but well done, and I believe that the roles, minus Bella Thorne’s, were all perfectly cast.
Finally, it genuinelty creates the question in the viewer’s mind, which I believe was the creator’s aim: “Am I (or Was I) A DUFF?!”
Recommendation: Worth a rent when this film hits the shelves on August 17th in UK – it’s not American Pie, Mean Girls or She’s All That, but it’s a good chuckle and a decent modernisation of the teen comedy genre!
We’re all friends here and we’d love to know… Are You or Have You Ever Been What Is Considered As A ‘DUFF’?
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