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 “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that 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.
Title: The DUFF
Title Copyright: The Duff © 2015 Granville Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved. Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2015 CBS Films Inc. All Rights Reserved. ™ & ® CBS Films, CBS and Eye design and all related logos are marks of CBS Broadcasting Inc.
Year of Production: 2015
Rating: PG-13 for Crude and Sexual Material Throughout, Some Language and Teen Partying
Feature Run Time: 101 minutes
Format: DVD + Digital
Source: Received from publicist in exchange for an honest review
Summary (Lionsgate Publicity):
Breaking down barriers and erasing labels, the smart, honest, hilarious comedyThe DUFF arrives on Digital HD on May 26th and will follow on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) and On Demand on June 9th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment and CBS Films. Based on the best-selling book by Kody Keplinger, The DUFF reveals that while social media can amplify even the little things, high school social hierarchy hasn’t changed since the John Hughes era. Directed by Academy Award® winner Ari Sandel (Best Live Action Short Film, West Bank Story, 2006), The DUFF features some of today’s hottest stars, including Mae Whitman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Robbie Amell (TV’s “The Flash”), Bella Thorne (Blended), Bianca Santos (Ouija), Skyler Samuels (upcoming TV’s “Scream Queens”) Romany Malco (Showtime’s “Weeds”), Nick Eversman (Wild) along with Ken Jeong (TV’s “Community”) and Allison Janney (TV’s “Mom”).
Bianca’s (Whitman) universe turns upside down when she learns that her high school refers to her as a “DUFF” (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Hoping to erase that label, she enlists the help of a charming jock (Amell) and her favorite teacher (Jeong). Together they’ll face the school’s mean girl (Thorne) and remind everyone that we are all someone’s DUFF…and that’s totally fine.
Not too long ago I was approached to do a movie review (and Kate loves movies). After Melissa’s rave review of The DUFF and having the chance to meet Kody in New York at Teen Author Carnival I knew it was time to meet Bianca and Wesley and read The DUFF. Below you’ll find the book and movie duo review, but be warned, spoilers are ahead as this was the only way I could get into depth with the similarities and differences.
Like Melissa my absolute favorite quote from the book:
Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you.
I hadn’t known what to think when I first started reading The DUFF. I had recently read the summary for the movie and let me tell you, the book is VERY different. In the book version Bianca is having trouble at home, her mom has left and her dad has falling to drinking, something he had quit when she was just a baby. Out of frustration from this and a handful of other things Bianca finds blissful escape in Wesley Rush’s bed (and yes, I know what this implies, and yes that is what happens). Normally I’d think such behavior was added simply to shock readers, but in The DUFF if feels real. Kody has crafted very real characters and although Bianca never in a million years would have dreamed she’d go anywhere near Wesley without a good reason, her troubles at home and her tendency to bottle things up pushes her into things she never imagined she’d do.
Wesley also has his struggles, ones that at first Bianca doesn’t see until she gets closer. Wesley is that guy we all know who seems to have everything (the good looks, fancy car, a mansion of a house) but lacks the thing that matters most, family. But unlike other stories with the rich playboy Wesley wants his family back together, he longs for those relationships to be repaired and shows an amazing amount of understanding with Bianca’s situation.
What goes from a enemies-with-benefits relationship becomes something real, and I really liked that about the book. Another plus in my book was the way Bianca’s relationship with Toby was handled. Instead of another long, drawn-out love triangle where we all know who will get together with who books before the characters figure it out, we get three teens that figure out what they want at the first book (in other words Toby kindly backs out of the picture to pursue the real girl of his hearts, leaving this uncomplicated).
The DUFF book, to me, was about finding oneself and learning how to stand up to the hard things in life. A powerful message brought by a sarcastic girl named Bianca. This isn’t the message you’d expect as the book seems to be more about labels, but while reading this is the message that really struck me.
In the movie, however, The message of The DUFF: labels do not define us. Everyone has felt like the DUFF before, but we all have things about us that make us amazing. The DUFF touches on bullying, the power of social media (and the scary way it can be used), and channeling our inner brave to face the world as we are.
The movie follows a completely different storyline than the book. In the book, Bianca’s mom is the one who leaves, in the movie it is her dad. Wesley lives next store to her in the movie instead of the mansion-like house in the book. In the movie, the story goes Bianca enlists childhood friend Wesley to help her shed her DUFF label while in the book she goes to him as an escape from her issues at home.
This is what I liked about the movie. I watched the movie right after the book and was expecting a traditional book adaption. Instead, I got a new story with familiar characters and a familiar feel. This may drive some readers completely crazy, but for me it is pure gold. Why retell a story word for word when you can take the essence of it and breath new life into it?
Kody Keplinger’s The DUFF in both forms is highly entertaining for any contemporary, coming-of-age lover.