THE DUFF (12A)
THE DUFF (12A)
Run time: 100mins
Director: Ari Sandel
Cast: Mae Whitman, Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Allison Janney
Synopsis: Every school has their labels and nicknames, and some ‘classics’ still exist. But what happens when you discover that your friends, your fellow students and practically everyone you know have you labelled as ‘The Duff’?
‘The Duff’ is an acronym for the ‘designated ugly fat friend’, and the premise here is that if you can’t remember who that was in your school or college friend group – it was probably you.
Of course this is Hollywood, so no-one is really like that and in Director Ari Sandel’s teen romcom, based on a novel by Kody Keplinger, Bianca (Mae Whitman) is in fact an individual, feisty, A student with plenty of interests and two best friends. Commissioned to write an article for the school newspaper, she seems to have a good handle of things and tells us that nowadays high school stereotypes are different: Jocks now play video games; Princesses are on anti-depressants and the nerds are running things. However she is too shy to speak to Toby (Nick Eversman) on whom she has a crush.
Bianca’s two best friends Jess (Skyler Samuels) and Casey (Bianca A. Santos) get all the attention when no-one really acknowledges her. In fact the school’s queen of mean, Madison (Bella Thorne) excludes Bianca from her party list. At home Bianca’s divorced mother, Dottie (Allison Janney) has become a bestselling author and self-help guru thanks to an idea she gleaned from watching an episode of The Simpsons.
When popular Jock next door, neighbour Wes (Robbie Amell) tells her that she is the DUFF, everything changes. The adverse effects of social media and cyber-bullying are all examined in this new girl-meets-boy, coming of age, teen movie which has amusing moments, likeable principal stars and engaging new takes on familiar territory.
Images courtesy of Entertainment One