Coming sometime in the distant 2015 we have the book-turned-movie The DUFF starring Mae Whitman, Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, and Ken Jeong just to name a few.
I can’t say the trailer has me feeling like The DUFF is going to be anything less than a cliche teenage movie, but it looks fun at least. Without knowledge of the book, the plot seems to go as so: popular boy tells “loser” girl that she is the “designated ugly fat friend” in her group of friends. The DUFF is a stand-in who’s main goal is to make the rest of her friends look more appealing. The DUFF is also easy to talk to because they aren’t the conquest for the night. Once learning her label, girl then asks popular boy to remake her look in exchange for tutoring him in science to, I’m assuming, prevent him from failing and being kicked off the football team.
I’m guessing that the two fall for each other along the way and eventually live happily ever after — or whatever the teenager version of that is.
As for the book, The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend written by Kody Keplinger was published in November of 2010 and, I must say, the plot of the book reads drastically different from what we witness in the trailer.
“Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.”
In contrast, the trailer appears very superficial and has some fans of the novel upset by the vast differences from the two mediums. The movie seems to focus on making Bianca over instead of the relationship the two accidentally create through their “enemies-with-benefits” situation. There’s at least the promise of depth from the book summary but I don’t get this vibe at all from the movie trailer. Granted this is only one trailer and quite short, but still.
But I will most likely see The DUFF — I’m a fan of these type of teenage romance movies. From the looks of their interactions (specifically the peck flexing at the end) I’d say there’s an easy-going and natural chemistry between Whitman and Amall and hopefully it translates as romantic on screen. Nothing more awkward than two teenagers desperately trying to show their love and it only coming off as cringeworthy. (Twilight, anyone?)
The DUFF will be released sometime in 2015.