“The Duff” – The new, improved high school cliché

Stephanie Gorman

THE DUFF 1.jpg
Property of Lions Gate Entertainment

“The DUFF” came in fifth at the box office opening weekend, proving that sex, action, cartoons, and triumph movies all trump the forever redone high school clique comedy.

Mae Whitman (Perks of Being a Wallflower), stars as Bianca, the Designated Ugly Fat Friend (DUFF) to her more attractive and more popular friends. She starts a fit-in transformation with the help of her jock-next-door-neighbor-enemy, Wesley, played by Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People), and to any audience’s prediction, decides climactically that high school labels don’t matter and she’s perfect the way she is.

“The DUFF” has everyone’s favorite high school classics: the dumb but crazy attractive jock, the viciously mean but very popular hot girl, the protagonist’s favorite approachable teacher, and the awkward mom that changes her tune and says something very sentimental toward the end. All of whom are introduced very blatantly as such.

And now, the DUFF is the new, refreshing cliché; so approachable that just about everyone can identify with her.

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2014 Granville Pictures Inc.

Once everyone gets past the overdone high school labeling system (and the fact that Robbie Amell is 26 years old playing a high school senior), the film is riddled with wildly funny one-liners that kept at least one person consistently laughing out loud.

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Photo by Guy D'Alema

The dynamic between Whitman and Amell was perfectly laugh-until-your-eyes-are-wet funny and Whitman’s performance set her up to be much like Hollywood’s lovable, quirky, and individualistic Jennifer Lawrence in coming productions.

Overall, this film was pleasantly surprising. Despite the fact that “The DUFF” is so predictable that there is no such thing as a spoiler for it, the film is rifled with somewhat crude but very familiar to the target age group humor. It is approachable, refreshing, and adorably quirky. Audiences will be able to identify with Bianca’s struggles and her triumphs, and end the film wishing they were half as witty and charming as her.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“The DUFF” is rated PG-13.

Link to trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cISh0wmeZBQ