Sunday, 5 April 2015

'The Duff' Review (with GIF's!)

Readers, welcome to a new month! To celebrate both the beginning of April and the beginning of the school holidays, I've decided to get back into the swing of things and dedicate (most of) my free time to blogging. To kick off my 2 and a half weeks of freedom, I decided to take a trip down to the cinemas and watch the new teen rom-com 'The Duff'. So, in true Teenage Fanatic fashion, I've decided to review the film on here and give you guys my honest opinion. Was it awesome? Is it worth seeing for yourself? All these questions will be answered in due course. Intro complete, my judgement awaits . . .

I may as well put you out of your misery and reveal that yes, this movie going experience was indeed a success. After seeing the trailer a few months ago and investigating the premise, I have to say, I was definitely expecting this film to be better than your standard fare. I for one am definitely a lover of teen movies, so after seeing pretty much everything that the repertoire of films aimed at young adults in the 80's and 90's had to offer, my tolerance for middle of the road, relatively unfunny rom-coms has significantly decreased. However, have no fear, because 'The Duff' is an undeniable winner. The film met my relatively high expectations, and I am pleased to say that I was thoroughly entertained throughout my entire viewing experience. So yeah, I guess what I'm trying to say is that this flick, without a shadow of a doubt, doesn't disappoint.

The film begins as we are introduced to protagonist Bianca Piper (Mae Whitman) and her two super nice, arguably more attractive friends Jess (Skylar Samuels) and Casey (Bianca A. Santos).

Initially leading a relatively uncomplicated life with her mother (Allison Janney), a recently-divorced-turned-motivational-speaker, Bianca is shocked upon hearing from her ex-childhood friend and current next door neighbour Wesley Rush (Robbie Amell) that she is in fact a DUFF (standing for Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Informing her that to be a DUFF one does not indeed have to be ugly or fat, Bianca begins to question her role as the least popular and most approachable friend in the group, the one who is exploited by others who wish to become closer to the more popular people, and as a result, ostracises her friends.

In an attempt to gain the attention of her long-time crush Toby Tucker (Nick Eversman), Bianca requests that Wesley lend a hand in 'reverse-DUFFing' her, in exchange for unlimited access to her Chemistry notes. However, as expected, not everything goes to plan as tension rises and typical mean-girl Madison Morgan (Bella Thorne) is entered into the equation.

And this folks is officially where my plot retelling must come to an end. What happens next? You'll have to purchase tickets to find out.

As I hinted before, I actually really liked this movie. Of course, pretty much the entire plot is totally predictable, however that in no way, shape or form detracts from your enjoyment of the film. In terms of storyline it's basically your typical high school movie, however both the fabulous dialogue and performances compensate for what is lacking in originality. I guess if you're looking for a totally innovative take on the life of the American teen than you'll be sorely disappointed, however if you're simply in need of an awesome, fun comedy with a good message, you're definitely in the right place.

I'm not gonna lie, deep down, I was a tad worried that my cinema experience would end in disappointment. Although the trailer was beyond promising, promotional material has a tendency to showcase the best parts of a movie, and the film itself can sometimes be a disappointment. However, have no fear my friends, because I can promise you that this is not even close to being the case. Although this is probably the result of a number of factors, I'd have to say that one of the major influences would be the awesome performance by Mae Whitman as Bianca. Casting team, I totally commend you. She managed to take dialogue we'd heard a million times before in one way or another and somehow make it seem new and exciting, as well as create some awkward yet super funny moments. I ask you, what more could one search for in a female lead?

The slightly quirky tone to the film also helps to set this flick apart from the rest. The fact that the protagonist is a major cult horror movie buff adds a little variety, and there's also some other minimal deviation from stereotypes. I mean, who says that the pretty girls can't be budding computer hackers? No one, that's who.

In addition to all of this, I seriously loved that Bianca was just a normal looking girl both before and after her 'reverse-DUFFing'. I think we can all think of a movie (or several) where the nerdy, geeky girl finally takes off her glasses and puts on a fabulous outfit, and low and behold, she transforms into the prettiest person on Earth, however luckily in 'The Duff', an unrealistic makeover is nowhere to be seen. Also, you know how in the majority of rom-coms the guy at the end of the movie is all like 'you are so smart and funny', when in actuality the leading girl has the personality of a wet fish? Believe it or not, Bianca actually is both smart and funny, and is an awesomely quirky person people would understandably want to be around! I mean, these changes are so cool it makes the film almost realistic (which definitely is a hard feat for any teen movie ever).

Overall, what you can really get from this review is that 'The Duff' is definitely worth going out and watching. Jam packed with both cringeworthy awkwardness and hilarity, this film I feel is a cut above the rest in terms of 21st century teen rom-coms. Yes, the plot is totally cliché, however the film is immensely entertaining, and sometimes an unoriginal plot is exactly what you need. The fact that you didn't have to think about what was coming next actually just allows you to enjoy the journey considering we're 100% certain of the destination. So readers, I urge you to go out and buy yourselves a ticket, and I swear to you, you will not be wasting your money. And if you don't enjoy it?:

So that's pretty much all I have for you. Now, all there is to do is to go out, purchase some movie tickets, and get on with your lives. Til' next time . . .

Annabel xx


  1. I can't believe I still haven't seen it yet! I have wanted to for so long and you totally just made me want to go see it even more now! Great review as well!

    1. Thanks so much! You should totally go and check it out when you have a chance, it's super awesome!