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The Duff For Film Night (Review)

Sunday, 2nd September, 2018

The Duff Film Review

It was another film night, I checked out to see what there was to watch, and I came across a film which I almost forgot about, The Duff which came out in 2015. I remember seeing some clips of this and wanted to watch it ages ago but it slipped me by, but I finally watched it last night. I don’t really know how I feel about it.

I love teen films, they’re great, and that’s what this is. It has a lot to live up to with a lot of other good films in the genre which were made back in the late 90’s and early 00’s, but I thought this could be a good one.

It’s your classic teen story. Unpopular and average looking girl who has hot friends and has a childhood guy friend who’s now turned into a douche (and football player ‘jock’) in high school, who also happens to be going out with the school’s hottest girl. Did I mention the average girl is also into a guy but can’t talk to him, so ‘hires’ her neighbour to coach her, and ends up falling in love with him. Yes, it’s a story we’ve all seen before, but not for a while.

There is of course a bit more to the plot. The word DUFF, which stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend was unknown to Bianca, and more to the point she didn’t know that she had that label, being friends with two hot girls.

The neighbour boy, Wesley, who she now hates told her at a party, and so she threw her drink in his face. Now Bianca realises this, she’s mad at her two friends, Jess and Casey, so does what any teenage girl does these days, unfriends them on all social media and stops speaking to them.

She likes some guy called Toby but can’t build up the courage to speak to him, but notices that Wesley has no such problems. She makes a deal with him for him to coach her, and in return she’d help him pass science as he’s failing and has been stopped from playing football.

So Bianca and Wesley end up spending some time together, and Wesley gives her tasks to do to build up her confidence. When they’re at the mall someone sees them together and starts making a video in secret of Bianca having fun and being silly. The person who’s making the video just happens to be a friend of Madison, the hottest girl in school who also has an on/off relationship with Wesley.

Madison posts the video and it goes viral around the school, embarrassing Bianca. Undeterred she asks out Toby, but when they have a date she realises that he’s treating her like a DUFF and leaves in tears, calling Wesley. She then see’s Wesley with Madison at her special place which she had previously took Wesley to.

She then makes up with her friends, they go to homecoming together, and at the end of the night she ends up with Wesley.

The second half of The Duff is better than the first

So how does it hold up these days?

Well I have to say I actually wanted to stop watching after about 20 minutes. It hit every obvious stereotype of today’s teen, or at least the vision of today’s teen which seemed to be from an old person’s perspective. It was an absolute social media fest, with hashtags everywhere as if every teen in school goes around saying the word. Yes, we get it, kids like social media.

The word ‘bang’. Apparently every teenage guy now talks about how they want to bang, and are completely sex crazed. Surprising? no. But it was done in a completely over-the-top way, it was almost tongue in cheek, but it was supposed to be actually depicting teenage life, which made for cringe-worthy viewing.

But the second half of the film was better, and saved it. The film’s story line eventually picked up pace and was good, with plenty of laughs along the way, and finally some genuine emotion in the film.

Once I got into the latter stages of the film, I started to like the characters more and more. The personality was developed as the story got better, and it went from what seemed to be how old people view teenage life to a proper movie you want to watch.

It has the stereotypical ending, but that’s kind of what you want in this film.

So it was a decent watch, eventually. I am glad I stuck it out. Is the film a duff? It almost was, but thankfully no. It does have a few funny moments, and Ken Jeong who plays a teacher in the film is hilarious as you’d expect. All the cast were great in the film, and the characters were too. It’s never going to be Mean Girls, 10 Things I Hate About You or Clueless, but it was decent thanks to the latter stages.


Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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