Teen comedy movie, The DUFF, surprisingly enjoyable

The theater is rather quiet when the movie first begins to roll, as no one’s sure what to expect. However, soon after it starts, two girls towards the front giggle at the scene on the big screen and seconds later, it is echoed by everyone.

In fact there are several reactions during the 101 minutes “The DUFF” plays. Laughter erupts multiple times throughout the movie, some viewers experiencing teary eyes during a particularly sad scene and some people even cringing and hiding their faces behind their hands in second-hand embarrassment.

“The DUFF,” based off the novel of the same name by Kody Keplinger, premiered Feb. 20 and, combined with positive critical response and a top five opening in its first weekend, promises an entertaining film perfect for a night away from studying and homework.

The movie follows the classic storyline of an outcast trying to fit in with the help of the attractive, popular mentor, but with a modern twist. Mae Whitman, from
“Arrested Development,” plays Bianca, the quirky companion to her gorgeous, well-known BFFs. Her senior year of high school is turned upside-down when her popular quarterback neighbor Wes (Robbie Amell) informs her that she is the “Duff,” or “Designated Ugly Fat Friend” of her friend group. Mortified Bianca asks him to help her rid herself of the unwanted Duff image, and along the way, she discovers true friendship, love and the importance of embracing your true identity.

Through incorporation of real-life teenage issues and plenty of social media references, “The DUFF” is both relatable and comedic enough to entertain your average college student, while still providing an easy-to-understand message about loving yourself for who you are without worrying about what others think.

Once the ending credits roll, the audience claps and cheers before leaving the theater in a wave of excited chatter.

“The writing was excellent,” one woman says to her friend as they leave. Meanwhile across the lobby, a bubbly teenage girl slings an arm across her own friend’s shoulder and exclaims, “Dude, that was hilarious. I’m so glad we came.”

But, decide for yourself. Will you be seeing “The DUFF” this weekend?

Film: The DUFF

Starring: Mae Whitman

Release date: Feb. 20, 2015

Rating: ★★★★★