While at a party, Wes starts pumping Bianca for info about her friends and she informs him that's not her job, when he tells her that it actually is, because she is the "DUFF," a term she's never heard before. She is outraged when Wes reveals that it stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend and that she is basically the gateway for her two hotter friends, a source of information and a way for guys to get closer to Jess and Casey. Bianca is furious and heartbroken, as she looks back over the years of friendship, thinking her "friends" have simply been using her all of this time. What's worse, she has a terrible crush on Toby Tucker (Nick Eversman) and can't seem to form words around him, much less get him to like her. What's a girl to do? To top it all off, Bianca's mom Dottie (Allison Janney, The Spy) is a self-help guru and this doesn't make Bianca feel any less like a loser.
When Wes' football career and scholarship are threatened by his poor grades, Bianca proposes a trade - he can teach her to be more socially acceptable and she can tutor him in science. However, when the pair is at the mall during Bianca's "training," she starts cutting loose and enjoying herself, acting goofy while trying on different outfits. Little does she know that Madison's toadie, Caitlyn, is filming her antics and Madison gladly uses this on social media to destroy and humiliate Bianca. But what happens when Bianca decides to turn the tables on her tormentor and own it? Bianca soon learns who her true friends are, and with their help, plus that of her favorite teacher, Mr. Arthur (Ken Jeong, The Hangover), she decides to take control of her own life, not letting society's labels bring her down.
I was intrigued to see The DUFF because I wanted to see how it was handled. The term is patently offensive, but I ended up liking the message that the movie conveyed and I found myself laughing out loud at a lot of the antics in the film. All of the actors are wonderful, especially Mae Whitman and the hysterical Ken Jeong, and seeing high school princess Madison played by Bella Thorne definitely brings Mean Girls to mind, although I honestly enjoyed The DUFF much more than I ever liked Mean Girls. I think the social media overlays on everything will especially appeal to today's social media-obsessed teens, but I must admit they were rather amusing.
Special features are fun and include a gag reel, featurettes on the film's walk down the red carpet, making the book into a movie, teen comedies and how they inspired The DUFF, high school labeling, and breakdowns of the characters from the film.
If you like teen comedies, check out The DUFF. I ended up enjoying it way more than I ever thought I would and the cast of characters are just delightful.