Monday, 16 March 2015

The Movie Was Better: The DUFF

I read The DUFF a few years ago and I thought it was OK - I think the hype around it meant my expectations were high and sadly not met. But when I heard they were making a movie based on the book, I was intrigued by exactly how they'd pull off the story of a pair of teenage fuck buddies on the big screen. When the first trailers came out I realised they weren't actually trying to do that, and had instead turned it into yet another hot-guy-makes-over-schlumpy-but-actually-really-hot-girl movie.

I was kinda mad about it because, despite not LOVING the book, the honest portrayal of Bianca's sexuality was one of the things I found refreshing and appealing about it. And, like, been there, done She's All That. The more trailers and snippets I saw, the more I thought that, frankly, the movie was going to be terrible.

So, unlike the book, I had low expectations going in to the movie. And I am glad to say they were NOT met - because I was pleasantly surprised. The DUFF was fun and adorable and delightful. The characters were quite endearing, and Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell as leads Bianca and Wesley had great comic timing and pretty hot chemistry. Obviously Mae Whitman is by no means "ugly" or "fat" but they put her in overalls so that automatically signalled she's a beast. J/K - it's actually more about how she sees herself, and how she's got to love herself despite being surrounded by jerks who judge her for not being ~conventionally~ beautiful. The "DUFF" thing could have turned into an offensive trainwreck, and while there are a couple of iffy moments, overall it's pretty well-handled, with a nice message of loving yourself and not caring about what others think

The dialogue itself is cringey at times - particularly whenever technology is mentioned, with a serious reek of trying too hard - but there's also some really funny moments. And it's cheesy, but in a way that makes you pull the heart eyes emoji face IRL.

So yes, I went in expecting to feel bored at best and ragey at worst, but I walked out with a big grin on my face. I'm already keen to watch it again. It's obviously not for everyone and it's by no means perfect, but I'm a sucker for a good teen rom com, and The Duff is definitely one of them.

And I'm just gonna leave this here, for... reasons...