The Duff


I love a high school comedy, those are the films are always watch again and again so I felt like The Duff was aimed squarely at people like me. I loved it. I definitely doesn’t break any plot boundaries or reinvent the wheel but the central friendship between Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell was so charming, funny and enjoyable that I had a smile on my face the entire way through.

Bianca (Whitman) is best friends with two hot girls and her neighbour Wes (Amell) makes her realise that she is their DUFF – Designated Ugly Fat Friend. This means she is always in their shadow and guys only make friends with her to get to her besties. Whitman is disgusted by the tag, so she ditches her friends in an attempt to reinvent her image. She and Wes make a deal – he teaches her how to get guys and been seen as ‘hot’ while she will be his chemistry tutor and deal with his jealous on/off girlfriend (Bella Thorne).

The Duff

This central unlikely friendship is key. If these two actors did not have the wit, comic timing or the chemistry they do, the film would suck because it is not THAT different to what has come before. Casting Whitman was a genius move because she is so funny – even just the way she delivers lines made me laugh (same for Amell and Allison Janney as Bianca’s mum).

The only downside really is that it is so predictable and rehashes the same school stereotypes we have seen time and time again. So even though it is an enjoyable story with refreshing characters, it is still a tried-and-tested formula. You know the ending – you can guess it even from the synopsis – but once it happens, the film loses its edge. It becomes preachy and sentimental about self-acceptance and the prom ending (classic!) becomes way too clichéd for my liking.

Mae Whitman, left, and Bella Thorne in The DUFF, from CBS films site

Whitman and Amell will come out of this as stars because they essentially made the movie work despite it simply rehashing familiar territory of labels and acceptance. Their casting was perfect (especially the uber-hot Amell), there was some great one-liners and pop culture/social media references but I wish they had done away with some of the two-dimensional stereotypes. For example, Thorne’s character is a total bitch and you don’t see anything else. That is all you get with her.  It will not stand out in amongst the high school comedy greats, such as Mean Girls and Clueless, but it definitely worth a watch. I laughed a lot, I loved the soundtrack and I want to see it again.

Released Monday 


  1. […] off the tag.  Whitman is hilarious and charming and you will leave with a smile on your face. Read review here. Released: […]


  2. […] The Duff is in U.K. cinemas from Monday 6th April. Read my review. […]


  3. […] Thorne stars in The Duff, which is in U.K. cinemas on 6th April. Read my review here.  […]


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