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Bianca is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body refers to her as ‘The DUFF’ (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends. With her universe turned upside down, she ignoreswords of wisdom from her favorite teacher and enlists Wesley, a slick but charming jock, to help set her apart from the pack and erase her label forever. In doing so, she hopes to land her crush Toby, and find the confidence to overthrow the school’s ruthless label maker Madison by reminding everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s DUFF…and that’s totally fine.

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The DUFF movie full length review - The DUFF

The DUFF: Movie Review

The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is a movie about a high-school girl, Bianca, and her journey to overcome the label her classmates have imposed on her. She befriends her two best friends, Cassie and Jess, because she thinks they also look at her as a DUFF. Desperate for a change, Bianca makes a deal with the football captain and longtime neighbor, Wesley. Bianca will help him pass Science class so he could keep his college football scholarship and in return, he will coach and transform her into a confident girl. She wants to have the courage to talk to her longtime crush, Toby. As part of her training, Wesley makes her try out colorful and floral outfits, and speaking to random men around the mall. Although both challenging, Bianca's biggest problem is the fear Madison brings over her. Madison is the popular girl from school and Wesley's ex-girlfriend. In the end, Bianca realizes, with the help of her friends and mom, that it's OK to be different and not fit into society's mold. Being different is what makes us unique and we should love and embrace it. Walking into prom, Bianca confront Madison and wins Wesley over. Along with getting the guy, she also earns people's respect by sharing her story and having it printed on school newspaper.

The story itself is good although there are a few stereotypes throughout the movie. Bianca's character seems believable, but Madison's character, at times seems cliché. Altogether, the dialogue is appropriate for the age of each character. I specifically enjoyed the sarcastic and smart-mouth responses Bianca gave during the film. She was funny and I could relate to that. She never lost her humor although her character changed throughout the movie. In the beginning, Bianca cared a lot about what other people thought of her and tried changing herself to get noticed. By the end, Bianca realized it doesn't matter what other people think of her, as long as she is happy and accepting of herself. It's like she says, "Yea I'm somebody's DUFF, guess what? So are you, so is everybody. There's always going to be somebody prettier, more talented, or richer than you, but it shouldn't affect how you see yourself." I had never heard the term DUFF before, so that drew me into the movie immediately. The story interested and hooked me the more I learned about Bianca's character.

The actors in the movie were appropriate. There were a few times where things seemed cliché, but overall, the movie was acted out adequately. One thing I would have liked to see is more involvement from Bianca's two best friends. They were present in the beginning and the end, but I think having them involved in the process would have added another perspective to the movie. The movie, however, had many different settings from the high school, the mall, Bianca's room, a thinking rock in a forest, Toby's house, and the prom location. I liked the fact that the movie moved to different locations. My favorite scene was when Wesley and Bianca were at the mall picking out new outfits. The actors wore age and stereotype appropriate clothing. Bianca wore baggy, dark, and casual clothes, representing her dark and care-free personality. Wesley wore casual, plain, and fitted t-shirts, showing his athletic build and laid back personality. Madison wore fashionable clothes with full makeup and hair to go along with her uptight and superficial personality. Madison, Bella Thorne in real life, is one of the actors I recognize from a previous Disney show called Shake it Up. The second actor I recognize from past movies is Ken Jeong from The Hangover. Ken plays an English professor that tries to push Bianca out of her comfort zone.

The cinematography throughout was of good quality. The scenes flowed nicely and the angles and lighting was appropriate. There were scenes that seemed of lower quality, but it was because those scenes were supposed to be taken from Madison's friend's phone. These videos were altered and effects were added to them. There were also a couple of times throughout the movie where special effects like arrows and fireworks appeared. This made the movie theatrical and comical. There weren't many sound effects but the music played throughout the movie was expertly chosen, I just they would have added more songs, especially during prom.