The Ugly Truth landed on Netflix recently and despite acknowledging that its far from a great romantic comedy, I happened to turn it on while I was cleaning and you know what I realized? One, I miss watching Gerard Butler. Where did he go? Don’t even tell me about Gods of Egypt trailer. Second and more importantly, I miss romantic comedies or just comedies, in general. Its been lately about action and thrillers and horror. I find myself rewatching old comedies more and more and nothing released catches my eye nowadays. But then, can you blame me? It’s probably why I sit around and watch things like San Andreas and Sharknado. Point is, I wanted to watch a comedy and had heard that The Duff was pretty good and had bought it during Boxing Day so I decided to give it a watch 😉
Let’s check it out! 🙂
The Duff (2015)
Director: Ari Sandel
Cast: Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Bianca A. Santos, Skyler Samuels, Nick Eversman, Allison Janney, Ken Jeong, Romany Malco
A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF – Designated Ugly Fat Friend – by her prettier, more popular counterparts. – IMDB
I’m not the hardest crowd to please when it comes to teen comedies. Okay, well, maybe I am, especially when it includes comedy. I like smart stuff and things that make me feel like there was some thought in it or just you know, making fun of incidents that you can picture or relate to. I haven’t been in high school since forever but it has to be believable that they are in high school, right? The DUFF does a really decent job at making an enjoyable and funny comedy. I never knew what a DUFF was and never heard of the source material its based on. Regardless, The DUFF was really fun to watch.
The DUFF stands for “Designated Ugly Fat Friend”. Its the easy and approachable one in the group that isn’t as pretty as her group friends is and Bianca Piper learns about it one day. The DUFF is a little of coming of age and a little about finding yourself and not caring about the labels and just being happy with yourself in its core. Sure, its still a teen comedy so there’s some friends and fights, mean girls and gossip and rumors and a cute jock that turns into someone who is a little deeper. However, in its little simple cliche-like exterior, it carries a story that mixes up a little of Easy A and Mean Girls. It never quite reaches the awesomeness of those two movies but it does really resound and makes you connect with Bianca. It holds a good message and has some silliness that her character carries which can makes us like her and cheer for her. They really add some nice touches of the story like enhancing social media like ending the credits with the social media handles (Twitter/Instagram) for the cast as they are listed out along with blooper reels.
Mae Whitman, who I’ve never seen in anything else, is absolutely great as Bianca. She makes us love and connect with her character as she tries to find herself and break out of being the DUFF and getting the guy instead of being her friends. As she works alongside her neighbor, who is that cute jock I mentioned before called Wesley, played by Robbie Amell, they have some really cute and funny moments as they can convince us that the most uncommon and opposite people actually work really well together. I personally think there’s a moment where they grow fond of each other really quickly and some dialogue is kind of like, “Duh? Is that even a question?” when they say it but for the most part, I can forgive it because it is a story about the awkward teenager. Robbie Amell and Mae Whitman play their characters well off each other and that is what counts. I had some decent laughs and some pretty endearing and feel-good moments. On the note of Robbie Amell, aside from the Amells having some pretty great looking genes, they also are rather decent actors. At least, I’m liking it quite a bit.
The DUFF is full of talent that supports this young cast. For starters, Allison Janney plays the divorced self-help mother of Bianca who is a little odd but does end up being rather funny in her own way. Her best friends are new to me played by Bianca A. Santos and Skyler Samuels and for the small part they are in, they are rather likable as well. Bella Thorpe, which I recently saw in a cameo in Scream: the TV series as the high school mean girl also plays a full-on mean girl here called Madison. And she takes it with so much dedication. The last mention goes out to Ken Jeong who plays a teacher that runs the school newspaper that really supports and guides Bianca through this whole thing even if he is really weird. I’m always a little iffy about Ken Jeong’s humor but somehow it works well here.
Overall, The DUFF is truly an enjoyable and feel-good teen comedy that holds a good message about being true to ourselves and ignoring the unnecessary labels. It has good humor and a lot of not so subtle references. Its been a while that I’ve found a teen comedy that works and has decent rewatchability value and this one definitely has it. As I’m writing this, its after watching it a second time and fully loving it all over again.
Have you seen The DUFF? Did you like it? What is your favorite teen comedy?