Director: Ari Sandel
Release Date: 6th April 2015
Running Time: 101 minutes
I was super excited to see this film. I’d seen great reviews from everyone in America, which really surprised me, having seeing how ‘typical’ the trailer looked.
From the trailer, the initial thought was the fact that the book and film were on two different ends of a rope. In the novel, there’s this enemies/friends with benefits relationship with Bianca and Wes, but the trailer seemed to follow the “boy next door” kinda plot. Of course, with every American High School film, it was also very “American High School-y”, which always comes with a side of extra cringe. The cringe in the trailer was actually quite hard for me to handle, but it still intrigued me. I went into the film with all these assumptions… and I was, again, surprised!
I had recently watched Cinderella beforehand and I found myself cringing more throughout that film more than The Duff! I imagined it to be the other way round but I’m being completely serious. The thing that I like about The Duff that most is how well the “cringe-worthy” moments were handled. There were a few that I couldn’t help but let the cheese/awkwardness flood out but the others were humorous rather than cheesey/cringe-worthy/awkward.
The chemistry between Mae Whitman (who plays Bianca) and Robbie Amell (who plays Wes) is amazing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I loved watching them on screen together, they bounced off each other really well and it was all so perfectly natural. Since they were the main characters, meaning they’d get a huge amount of screen time compared to any of the other characters, it probably made me love the film even more. Their character and friendship development was so lovely to see on screen and it all seemed so natural – with fuzzy cuteness.
This almost leads me into the next point. The other characters were very flat and 2D. They were just there. We didn’t see much of them in the film and when we did they were only there to push the plot forward in a one line that they’d say or a skill that they carried. At the beginning there was a cute friendship moment with Casey and Jess, and the invite that Madison hands out, but other than that there wasn’t anything that made me think that they were really tight friends. Madison was there to be annoying. She was the typical ‘need it all and want it all’ high school character. Let’s just say, there wasn’t anything memorable about them.
Okay, I guess now you’re waiting for the part where I start tearing apart the movie and book because they’re not the same? I won’t be ‘tearing’ it apart because I actually enjoyed the film but I will say what I wish they had. Obviously the big one is the whole plot of the book but lets just pick at a few things, because we can’t change that, we can only add. Lovely and beautiful spoilers are in white so highlight over them to see it!!
So. Where is Bianca’s dad??? So in the film, they trade Bianca’s dad for her mum and maybe the use of doing that was to give her mum a greater comic role but I felt that Bianca’s dad was a huge factor into the way Bianca was. Book Spoiler: It’s of course, the moment when the Bianca and Wes relationship steps up a bit and everything seems to click or solidify for them a bit more. Which I really liked compared to the movie, the whole ‘admitting’ events in the remaining 2/3 of the book.
All I’m going to say is Toby. He really screwed everything up. Spoilers: I mean, I can’t actually remember, but I’m pretty sure Toby isn’t a jerk? OMG! Like what was happening when he confessed everything to Bianca and then we find out he was using her? Urgh. No. That made me so upset.
I actually think that might be all. I’m sure I mentally made more notes. But let me know what you thought of the film in the comments 🙂
Mae and Robbie’s performance made this film for me
I liked it
Watch the trailer here: