The concise critics

The Duff

Year : 2015 Director : Ari Sandel Running Time : 110 minutes Genre : ,
Movie review score

What’s it about?
In this latest high school comedy, Mae Whitman plays Bianca, a perfectly happy girl whose sense of self is turned upside down when her neighbour and high school jock Wesley (Robbie Amell) tells her she is the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) of her group.

What did we think?
Francesca Percy says: Homecoming dance! John Hughes references! Makeover montage! This entertaining story is nothing if not self aware, but it falls short of being teen classic material, due to the not-quite fully-formed characters (Bianca excepted). That’s not to say it doesn’t have enough going for it to make it worth your time. There are enough laughs, and Mae Whitman is fantastic as Bianca – it was great to see the character flourish and strengthen her feelings of confidence and self-worth while still staying true to herself.


2 Responses so far.

  1. Angela Young says:

    It’s not going to cerebrally challenge you – it’s not supposed to and you know that. But The Duff will entertain you if you let it. Its subtle-as-a-sledgehammer script (no such thing as metaphor in American rom-coms, no sir) fits the much-done ugly duckling high schooler mould as succinctly as those before it (She’s All That, Never Been Kissed, 10 Things I Hate About You and of course the prototype – Pretty in Pink). And it’s got a handsome male lead (Robbie Amell). Obscenely handsome. And no, that doesn’t make me a hideously perverted old cradle snatcher, ‘cause let’s not forget these are 26-year-olds unconvincingly passing themselves off as 17-year-olds. Absurdly handsome ones.
    To give the filmmakers their due, the subject has also been given a kooky lick of 2015 paint with a tsunami of social media comment (there’s that sledgehammer again). And there are honestly some genuine LOLs among the cringes and thumb fiddles. Also, there’s an unnaturally handsome man in it. Right, excuse me, I’m off to get a poster of Amell and stick it to my bedroom wall with some chewing gum.
    Did I mention he was handsome?

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