March 1, 2015

Movie Review: The Duff

If you are raising a teen, tween, or soon to be tween then you, as well as your child, have to see this movie.  A bit extreme you think ~ I assure you not.
Each generation has their "coming of age" high school movie. Luckily for me I was part of the John
Hughes generation that grew up with Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. The DUFF will definitely hold that place for this generation.
I'm going to be honest I wasn't expecting much when I went to see this movie.  I am a big fan of Mae Whitman, starting back when she played the President's daughter in Independence Day (a yearly holiday viewing of ours) and most recently on Parenthood (which I miss).  I was expecting to see her carry what would be a mediocre story.  SO WRONG
DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Free and the premise is that every group has one.  The DUFF may not actually be ugly or fat but they're definitely not the center or start of the friendship circle.  Everyone has a bit of DUFF in them somehow but this movie is about teens and therefore focuses on the shallow side of life which unfortunately where most high school social statuses lie.
Bianca (Whitman) is so upset when she learns of her supposed status as a DUFF she walks away from her two best friends played by Bianca Santos and Skyler Samuel and turns to her childhood friend/neighbor Wesley.  Wesley(Robbie Amell) is the Captain of the Football team and failing science.  They talents ~ she'll help him pass science if he'll help her no longer be a DUFF and ask out a guy she likes.  They easily fall back into the friendship they once had.  He starts out transforming her by taking her shopping at the mall.  Uncomfortable at first Bianca starts having fun trying on different outfits for Wesley.  HOWEVER true to life, there is always someone around with a cell phone who can with or without your knowledge never mind permission record your actions.  The best friend of Wesley's ex-girlfriend films not only their fashion fun but the rest of the day while Bianca performs Wesley's training tasks.  
I'm going to leave the basic story line there as it follows the arc you would expect.  The DUFF is not only a coming of age self realization movie but a THIS IS YOUR reality movie as well.  You have to assume that there is the possibility that someone is not only watching you but probably filming you all the time.  Goofing off with friends at the mall are memories we all have.  Imagine if someone not only filmed you but then edited those moments and shared them ~ all without your knowledge and permission.  And of course if someone is doing that the chances the finished product reflects well on you in minimal at best. As well all know once an image is out there getting it back is close to impossible. This is a very sad lesson teens today have to embrace. 
When I told Meg I think she should see this movie  I was surprised to learn that the kids at school were saying the same thing.  In fact one friend had said they thought it was going to be a chick-flick to take their girlfriend to and walked out with a life lesson. If a teen is saying that what more encouragement to see this do you need.
My Grade: A
Next Movies:
I'm Still Alice (a bit late but just came to our theatre)
Focus (maybe)
The Second Best Marigold Hotel (opens March 6)
Was a bit late and missed them :(
Remember Always Wear Your Invisible Crown
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