So, after much waiting, I finally got to see The DUFF, which stands for the designated ugly fat friend. Being a big fan of the novel by Kody Keplinger, I obviously had high standards for the movie. It was even said all over the place that the movie was going to be “loosely based” off the novel, and if you’re into movie adaptations like I am, then you know that the words loosely based means not like the book. Sure, the characters are there, but not even that was true about this movie.
I’m not saying that it was bad, because I actually loved it so much (but that may just be because I’m a sucker for this teenage rom-com crap). My eyes were glued to the cinema screen for all of 101 minutes. Mae Whitman was the most perfect Bianca Piper I could have asked for. She was so sassy and portrayed the character so perfectly. Bianca is all about being her own person, and Mae was nothing short of beautiful. I already loved her due to Parenthood, but this was another side that we got to see of her, and I loved every second. And Robbie Amell was a banging Wesley Rush. I feel like he was dumbed down compared to the book, but I loved him nonetheless. He was so funny and sweet, although simultaneously an asshat, and he was possibly a perfect Wesley. Their chemistry was everything I could have asked for for their respective characters. I mean, just look at them!
And then suddenly Bella Thorne appeared as Madison, the typical mean girl. (Sidebar: this girl is ACTUALLY eighteen years old, so I was shocked that she was even casted. Aren’t teenagers in movies supposed to be in their mid-20s in real life?) She actually reminded me very much of Regina George. She had no part in the book whatsoever, but she was a key character in the film. Was I confused? Yes, at first, but then she kind of grew on me as a solid character. Plus, even though she’s a Disney kid, I love the ginger power.
Allison Janney also appeared as Bianca’s mom, who in the book, only appeared approximately once throughout the whole book, but yet again, she held a concrete role in the film! Even though I personally like Allison Janney, and she is such a good actress, I was actually mad about this detail. This is solely because one of my favorite parts of the whole book (and spoiler alert, if you intend on reading the book, do not read the rest of this paragraph) is when Bianca gets called a whore and slapped by her father, and Wesley saves her by punching him and taking Bianca to his house. It showed that he cared about her! That was like the key moment in the novel for them, at least in my eyes, and the fact that the father wasn’t even in the movie killed me a little bit because of that scene! I mean, come on now. That was the scene I was most anticipating, and I felt shot down. For a little bit.
Anyways, Ken Jeong, who played Mr. Arthur, killed me! If this movie were a drama and he were to have a stereotypical role, he would have been the comic relief. Almost every time he was on screen, you bet your ass I was laughing. And shoutout to Nick Eversman, who played Toby. I did not see that coming. I believe his role was so much bigger in the movie than it was in the book, but wow. Wow. I was so impressed and taken aback with that plot line. I felt very proud.
So, all in all, if you have yet to see the movie, do it ASAP. If you read the book, do not expect it to be the same (like, at all). If you plan on reading the book, then do it. I love that book so much; it was enlightening. Every time a friend of mine asks for a recommendation on a book, I always mention The DUFF. If I were a true critic, I would give it four and a half out of five stars, but that’s only because of the one detail. Otherwise, I loved it! The whole point of both the movie and the book is learning how to accept and love yourself (and who doesn’t like that, am I right ladies?).
I brought my two roommates to see it with me (and mind you, one doesn’t like most movies, and the other usually likes to read the books first), and they may or may not have not liked it as much as me, but they both liked it a lot, too! We didn’t get into details of the movie, but we even mentioned that we understood the feeling of being the duff of a friend group. I mean, just look at us for example:
I know I felt like I was the real-life DUFF my whole life, too much weight and not enough self-esteem, but after reading the book and now watching the movie, I finally understood that everyone deals with their insecurities. And Kody Keplinger portrayed The DUFF so well, and the movie brought that to life. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has things about themselves that makes them feel less beautiful/special, but both this book and movie will hopefully lighten spirits, and remind those who need it that we are not all that different. I would actually like to personally thank Kody Keplinger for helping me with coming to terms with this, learning to accept myself, not taking anyone’s shit for being immature, and especially not taking those who love me for granted, because they’re beautiful and so am I.
(Sidebar: And I honestly do not understand all the hate this movie has been getting about anti-feminism and whatnot, all because the acronym says ugly and fat. I mean, if you actually paid attention, you would know that Wesley says multiple times that she is neither ugly nor fat, so please people, think before you bash out on anything related to this movie. I’m out.)