The DUFF Review

High school senior Bianca, played by Mae Whitman, has a rude awakening when she reluctantly discovers her classmates secretly refer to her as the “D.U.F.F.” or “Designated Ugly Fat Friend.” Never before had she wondered why she landed such attractive friends while she never met their levels on the social food chain. That is, until a childhood friend and classic jock, Wesley, played by Robbie Amell, informs her of her unfortunate social status.
This realization sparks Bianca’s fateful attempt to reinvent herself before her final year in high school comes to a close. She recruits Wesley to aid her in remodeling herself in return for promising to help him pass chemistry. Wesley teaches her how to walk, talk and dress in a series of missteps that, while teaching Bianca how to please the social demands, backfires, sending her falling back and questioning what the point of it all is.

The D.U.F.F. demonstrates multiple aspects of high school including everything from bullying to popularity. However, several points are dramatized. The stereotypical “mean girl” façade is played out by an enemy of Bianca’s, Madison, played by Bella Thorne. The “jock” stereotype is displayed through Wesley and his round of friends, while Bianca represents the bottom of the social chain, the model outcast.

The movie was engaging and grabbed the attention of the viewers. There are countless quotable lines and scenes forcing the viewers to double over in laughter. Director Ari Sandel successfully portrays the realities of high school life, but not without some major dramatization. Despite the direction the film initially seems to go, the ending comes with a plot twist, but not one viewers neglected to see coming.

The film’s key moral is proving labels are nothing to define a person. Each and every person defines themselves and should not succumb to the foolishness of high school labels and drama. Lessons in high school are ones that can be carried out through the lives of everyone.

Viewers should go into this movie not expecting to have their mind blown. It is meant for casual entertainment while bringing up several important lessons. Viewers can walk away from the theater feeling as though they have gained something.