The DUFF centers around high school senior Bianca (Mae Whitman), who discovers that, among her group of friends, she is the DUFF: the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. From the start of the film, the premise is clear: high school is somehow different now than it was in the classic days of Mean Girls: that the generations of Jocks, Plastics and Artsy types are long gone, but that discomfort is still running rampant for those who do not “fit in.” A large part of the movie features Bianca’s attempts to escape her DUFF label. She enlists her childhood friend (Robbie Amell) in her pursuits: practicing dating and trying on hordes of new clothes. I kept waiting for the moment when she discovers that real self worth is not found in other people’s approval, but there was no such occasion.
Sure, the film offers plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and a feel- good vibe, but The DUFF clearly demonstrates that, though high school may be different now, movies geared to its students are not.
– By Adrianne Cleven