By Michal MacMorran, sophomore
All that high school student Bianca knows about herself and friendship-circles vanishes when she is confronted with the truth: she is “the DUFF”, or the Designated Ugly Fat Friend, of her otherwise beautiful group of friends. Hungry for change, Bianca (Mae Whitman) consults the popular jock and also her next door neighbor, Wesley (Robbie Amell), to help her transform from a DUFF to the girl of hers and everyone else’s dreams. Could she unexpectedly find love along the way?
Directed by Ari Sandel, The DUFF is both a hilarious and convicting film that makes us question and redefine the meaning of identity. Portraying Bianca is Mae Whitman, an actress and voice artist from Los Angeles, CA, who is well-known for her lead roles in “Parenthood”, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, the “Tinker Bell” movies, and “Avatar the Last Air Bender”. Like in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, where she played a teenage Buddhist punk, Whitman astounds us through humor and confident acting as she again plays an outcast in a high school environment, a role she was seemingly meant to take on. While these two characters have traits in common, Bella Thorne, who has the role of Madison in The DUFF, surprises us with an unexpected twist. Madison is the “mean girl” who is out to drag Bianca lower than she already is, the no-good antagonist. It’s interesting to see Thorne play such a character when she is most well-known for her role as the ditzy and adorable Cece Jones on Disney Channel’s Shake It Up. Though her cruel words and mature language are shocking, Thorne nonetheless plays an excellent “mean girl.”
“I think The DUFF will be the new Mean Girls of this newer generation,” senior Jill Robertson said. “It hit a lot of good topics that are common in high school. Also, it portrayed how fast words go around, and how fast one’s reputation can change.”
The DUFF is a great movie for anyone who’s ever had strong friendships, been hurt, been insecure or has a wild side- in other words, everyone can relate.
“It was very relatable,” sophomore McKenzie Aynes said. “Like they say in the movie: ‘You either know one, you have one, or you are one’.”
The DUFF is worth the trip to your local theater, especially with a fun group of friends, and it will be just as great to see when it’s released on Netflix and Redbox.