Last weekend, I hate-watched The DUFF, and though it wasn’t the best cheesy high school movie I’ve seen, I don’t completely regret the choice. I knew I would not love this movie based on the previews: it is clearly marketed to 15-year-old girls looking to inflate their unrealistic expectations of high school social interactions and hotness levels.
There were funny moments — I distinctly remember laughing a few times between eyerolls, and Mae Whitman is really good. Her character is sarcastically funny with a serious case of resting bitch face that made me identify with her instantly.
Whitman is the main reason I forked over my $11 to see The DUFF. If her career ended tomorrow, her face would live forever as the character Ann Veal in Arrested Development. The girl is seriously funny and hopefully her major role in this movie leads to some better characters in the future.
As most high school comedies do, The DUFF presented an exaggerated and unrealistic version of secondary school. There were definitely aspects trying to poke fun at the stereotype — the name of the movie stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. That alone is so ridiculous there is no way it is meant to be taken at face value.
What I didn’t like about this movie is the same thing I despise in most female-centric teen comedies. It was all about the offbeat girl getting the hot boyfriend, there was some serious girl-on-girl hate throughout the film, and most of the “teenagers” were played by 25-year-olds.
The girl-hate is the worst recurring trope in teen movies. High school girls should be friends, not rivals. Movies like The DUFF teach young girls that their female peers are their competition and that the hot boys are the prize.
Wait for this movie to come on Netflix if you really want to watch it. It’s having its 15 minutes and then the next teen movie will make you forget all about it. But don’t forget about Mae Whitman, cause she is seriously going places.