“The DUFF” rises above its genre

The moment “The DUFF” started, we knew it was going to be something we loved. The movie, starring Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, and Bella Thorne, was a unique film with an outstanding moral.

Although we expected it to be another typical teen movie, “The DUFF” surprised us with its individual representation of high school life. The story follows Bianca, played by Whitman, an honor roll student who discovers she is a “DUFF” (designated ugly fat friend). With the help of her long-time neighbor and daily agitator, Wesley, she goes on a journey to become the “dateable” one. Along the way, Bianca discovers that labels don’t matter, and it’s all about who you are on the inside.

At first, we thought all the characters were very stereotypical, but the movie astonished us by some of the characters’ personality traits. Some of the characters were unoriginal at times, such as Thorne’s character, Madison, also known as the school’s “mean girl.” Casey and Jess, Bianca’s two best friends, portrayed two cliché “smoking hot” girls. However, girls weren’t the only ones who were shown surrounded by stereotypes. Wesley, played by Amell, was one of the school’s “jocks,” as well as a neanderthal.

Much to our delight, Bianca and Wesley begin to see each other for who they truly are. Although romance was a piece of this movie as well as the importance of friendship, neither one was the highlight.

Our favorite part of the movie was Bianca’s acceptance for who she was. No longer did she care about being a “DUFF.” Instead, she embraced it. We really enjoyed how it hit upon the insecurities that many teenagers have today. It was a great message packed into a great movie.

The movie also touched upon bullying, both online and offline. It showed the staff recognizing this problem, although they weren’t sure what to do about it. The principal did not handle the situation correctly, and instead, made it worse. However, Bianca’s newspaper teacher, Mr. Arthur, played by Ken Jeong, had a good idea of what they should have done. He thought it would be best to handle it carefully and keep it contained. In our opinion, this is very relatable to many teens in a time when technology has become a huge part of our lives.

We really enjoyed the film; we loved the cheesy lines, the humor, and all the major points they addressed. This movie was extremely relatable to us, and we’re sure many other teenagers will feel this way as well. We highly recommend that if you have not yet seen it, to go check it out.