‘The Duff’ is a modernised chick-flick, a technological, dramatic, teenage humour romcom. So firstly, I would recommend it for teenagers only, as it is cheesy and cringey specifically aimed at struggles for a teenager’s life.
Alike to most school romcoms, the school is split into groups, traditional cliques, for example if you’ve seen ‘Mean Girls’, similar to that. The Jocks, the Goths, the Glee Club… Yes, it is more modern and relates to popular teenage-society media today; understandably as this film was created only last year. It’s clever that it does this, because it makes it more relatable for the targeted audience, for instance a mention of ‘Pretty Little Liars’ is relatable to me. Traditional to a school romcom film, there is also the stereotypical popular mean girl, this being Madison, who has a proper crazy bad girl demeanour. Then there’s the stupid jock who’s the captain of a school sport team and his only hope getting into college is a scholarship, but everyone loves him and all the girls want to be with him, this is Wesley. Then lastly, there’s the girl that doesn’t quite fit in and is seen as “weird”, this being our main character for “The Duff”, Bianca.
I quite like the plot of the story, I think it is humorous, even if it is a bit overboard of cheesiness. When Wesley Rush, tells the main protagonist Bianca Piper, that she is a Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), she starts to find it more difficult to see that she’s not. It follows her story around school seeing a different light and starts to take advice from her next door neighbour Wesley, who she claims she hates. I really liked the characters and I feel that makes a massive difference for the film to be enjoyable or not. All the characters are very different, this adds different humours and makes it more enjoyable to watch also. Firstly there is the Duff Bianca (Mae Whitman), the two best friends Jess (Skyler Samuels) and Casey (Bianca A. Santos), the mean girl Madison (Bella Thorne), the captain of the football team Wesley (Robbie Amell), the crush Toby (Nick Eversman) and finally the pant-suit wearing mother Dottie Piper (Allison Janney). However, I have to say, one of my favourite characters is such a small part of the film but I think he just adds to the comedy, it has to be the teacher Mr Arthur (Ken Jeong); it is so cleverly done that such a small character to the plot can add to the comedy and say some of the funniest things to be remembered afterwards.
The film follows Bianca’s life. The film jumps into her thoughts when she is happy or excited, but the audience is unaware to when it jumps then snaps back to reality. Also fake fireworks shoot into the air around her when she’s happy, it doesn’t happen in the actual school, but shows the audience what happens in Bianca’s head, also the use of dramatic music; this over-exaggerated feelings though just adds to the cheesiness and the comedy altogether.
I think the relationships between characters is something to love as well. The main relationships that the audience experience in this film is a breakdown of best friends, however, this is made comical. Then also the relationship between Bianca and Wesley when they give each other advice; the audience will experience that this relationship is more difficult and complicated; I personally think this relationship just makes the film better; maybe something to adore, or cringe over, or be annoyed at, as the film proceeds.
There is the constant use of swear words and rude sayings, this is supposedly to add to the teenage humour though. Because of this it is not appropriate for younger ages and they probably wouldn’t be able to relate to or understand the comedy anyway as it is definitely teenage based. So I would definitely say that ‘The Duff’ has a specific audience for teens.
So if you like the sound of this film, ‘The Duff’, I would definitely recommend it, I think it is really funny. There are aspects that are relatable, and it’s a feel-good film. Just a good, modern chick-flick. It is slightly cringey though, but hey, that adds to the humour; if that’s your sort of humour.