I know it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted, I had a bit of a change of plans this summer. But I am back today with a review of a book-turned-movie The Duff by Kody Keplinger. Yay! Hope you enjoy =)
The movie follows the story of Bianca, friend of Jess and Casey — one a pretty fashion-designer-in-training (Jess), the other a Latina hottie (Casey), and she lives next door to her childhood friend Wesley Rush who calls her a DUFF one day at a high school party. Bianca is super smart and aiming for Harvard, Yale, or MIT, and Wesley, without thinking, names her the Designated Fat Ugly Friend (The Duff). I like how Bianca called him out for his rudeness — how could he call her fat and ugly to her face?? She gets mad and splashes a drink all over his face and shirt and leaves. As the movie-story develops she discovers Wesley’s definition of DUFF — not someone who is necessarily fat and ugly — just the person who acts like the gatekeeper for a set of more popular, more desirable, friends — the DUFF is the one who’s approachable, yet often left out in a way. For example, people only talk to the DUFF (Bianca) to get to Jess or Casey. Bianca decides she wants out of this role, and agrees to tutor Wesley in Chemistry while he helps her learn how to ask out the her guy crush.
They go to the mall and he tells her to ask out 15 random guys for practice, and she models cute outfits for Wesley and makes love to a mannequin. While a friend of mean-girl Morgan Madison (Wesley’s ex-girlfriend) films the whole spectacle on her phone — which she then uploads online. The next day, Bianca has to face the entire school who has seen her day with Wesley at the mall on video — also Toby, her crush, knowing she likes him and wants to have sex with him. Shortly after that horrible day at school — her feelings grow for Wesley.
Before I watched the movie, I’d been told it’s similar to Mean Girls (2004), and for me, that means similar to Clueless (1995) — movies both about jealously and competition amongst girls in high school. After I saw The Duff I’d have to say, the movie has a lot of say about being an individual, not being afraid of who you are, even if that is the DUFF, but even more so about female sexuality. I think it makes a comment for mainstream society that girls in high school, are just as sexual as boys, they have sexual desires as much as their male peers. However, for girls, there’s another layer — competition amongst other girls for hot guys, isn’t just about “scoring” or “winning” the guy, it’s about who’s more beautiful and popular? Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a.k.a. beauty is different for everyone, young girls wrongly assume that they are “unpretty” while comparing themselves to the size 0, blonde — 1% of the female high school population. But she doesn’t have to be blonde and a size 0 — some of us compare ourselves to the Casey figure — the full-bodied, tanned skinned, beautiful Latina. So really it has everything to do with the girl.
Later in the movie Wesley started falling for Bianca — known as the ugly, fat, “gatekeeper” friend, which, I think showed that beauty is who sees and likes you, it’s not this big ugly competition with the other girls in your school. However, girls will become evil and vicious to get what they want. Including embarrass each other on social media. Schools, but more importantly parents, and the community, I think need to come up with ways to protect minors from this kind of bullying. I’ll venture forth and list my suggestions:
- Have a respected older female like an older sister or female counselor talk to the girl who’s bullying about the right way to deal with jealousy
- a student write an article about anti-bullying and individuality which is what Bianca ended up doing in the movie
- create a “Girl Core” of females who are a support group for each other and team up to help other girls in the school stop bullying in a polite and organized way
Overall, I thought the movie was well-filmed. It was a little too graphic at parts, but I think it made its point quite well. I give it a 4.5 stars out of 5. As far as the book goes, I reserved the book from my library but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I’ll be putting up a review of the book later this month on my channel.
So, that’s it for now. If you’ve seen the movie, what did you think of it? Was it different from other “mean girls” movies you’ve seen? Leave me a comment down below if you have any thoughts on this, and I’ll catch you next time!