The Duff Review

Preface

  • I saw this movie with my friend Pat DUFFy, more on him later, but naturally that joke needed to be made…

Premise

  • So this movie is basically a Mean Girls-ish high school movie about the technology-based world, and what high school is supposed to be like nowadays.
  • And mainly it focuses on this girl Bianca who is told at a party she is the Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her more attractive friends.
  • So with the help of her neighbor/jock friend from childhood, she needs to un-Duff herself, get the guy, and defeat the evil popular girl in school.
  • Yeah, I’ll talk more about that premise later, but let’s talk some positives first!

Cast and Characters

  • Not every high school movie can totally nail the casting.
    • Perks of Being a Wallflower and Spectacular Now have both hit it in the past few years, but a lot of original movies like Dazed and Confused didn’t have the most experienced actors.
  • The actors in this movie are not gonna be winning anything at next year’s Oscars, but they were all functional in the movie.
  • The main girl, Bianca, played by Mae Whitman was really good as the lead. She could have been played by other people, but Whitman did a good job carrying it.
    • She was sarcastic, she was relatable, and a good lead Duff.
  • Then the jock dude/friend of hers was named Wes and played by Robbie Amell (yeah, Oliver Queen’s cousin).
    • I had seen this dude on a bunch of random things like 5-10 years ago when he was popping up on Cartoon Network and Disney Channel (plus a couple episodes on Alcatraz). And I like seeing actors from back in the day get good work now, cuz he was good in this movie.
    • He was a likable jock who was dumb, but didn’t come off as dumb. And that’s what jocks are like in a lot of instances, so it’s really awesome he got that.
  • Then the girl from Blended was playing the villain of sorts and she was okay towards the end.
    • To have a villain in one of these movies be like Regina George, you need to make her smart.
    • This girl didn’t really have the genius aspect to her, and she just felt like the stereotyped mean-girl character in one of these movies.
  • Ken Jeong was playing Señor Chang in this, pretty much. All the teachers in the movie were funny. Romany Malco was the principal and he was especially entertaining.
  • Other than them, the cast in the movie worked really well. Alison Janney, too, even in the weirdest, most awkward way.

Storyline/Premise-Redux

  • Alright, so the cast was good in this movie, but ultimately, the thing that this movie suffered from was storyline.
  • This movie was SO cliché, it was unbelievable.
  • In terms of predictability, I saw one trailer for this movie on TV or something and knew how it was gonna go down.
  • Then, when the actual movie starts, you can predict everything that’s gonna happen, nothing in this movie is old.
  • You know what the characters are gonna do together, you know where the movie’s gonna end, but maybe the in-between will be enjoyable??

Script

  • And yeah, that actual script to the movie, despite an insanely by-the-numbers story, was entertaining.
  • You really like the connection between Wes and Bianca, they had good chemistry together.
  • You get to see Bianca’s thoughts, and that was where most of the humor came from, and it was awesome.
  • The dialogue wasn’t always fantastic, but there were some really solid one-liners every now and again.
  • It kinda feels like the director was going for a feel like The To-Do List (which is a hilarious movie in the vain of American Pie, only girls will love this one too), but lost a bet and had to do the PG-13 version with the worse story.
    • Because everything in the actual movie, the realistic parts, function well, but the over-arching part was just too sad of a drag-down to this seemingly well-formed script.
  • There were some very quick shifts into dramatic moments too, though luckily those didn’t happen too often.
  • I didn’t check, though if I have to guess, I’d say this movie was a collaboration between like 2 or 3 people.

Stray Observations

  • I did find it funny how this was pitched as the new high school movie for the 21st century, and the Mean Girls of the this generation, but really it’s just a 21st century, well-written version of other high school movies.
    • And it’s double funny since Mean Girls is a 21st century movie…
  • It’s convenient how everyone seems to be videotaping everything all the time in this movie. Do that many people actually have YouTube blogs like they tried to sell?

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion, The Duff had some pretty okay acting, a well-written script, a really by-the-book and cliché story, but a good message behind it, funny jokes, and a cool attempt at a new high school comedy.
    • Which is good, since the last few, even though they were great, they’ve been real downers…
  • My friend Pat DUFFy, who I mentioned earlier, thought that the absurdity of the clichés was just too much and really hated it, but like I said, I thought the execution was good.
  • I liked how this movie paints high school too, it seemed like the halls, buildings, and most life at school campus was like a real high school.
    • And coming from a high school student, that ain’t bad.
  • So overall, if you don’t check this one out, you aren’t doing yourself a disservice or anything, but it is really funny to catch On Demand or at the dollar theater.

3/5

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on The Duff. Have you seen this movie, and what are your thoughts on it? Let me know down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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