I think like most mothers in Victoria today, I sighed a breath of relief once I said goodbye to my kids and left them to socialise at school…oh and learn of course! Actually, they dumped me, not the other way round, but I’ll survive. The final week (even though it was only TWO weeks) of the holidays finally got to them. It was amazing to see that Miss 11 had not murdered her brother for his constant annoying “in-your-face” teasing.
School holidays also meant that I got to watch films I probably wouldn’t have, you know, films meant for teens and tweens? Films like The DUFF. Directed by Ari Sandel, it was supposedly based on the book of the same name by Kody Keplinger. I said supposedly because I read the book BEFORE I saw the movie and trust me, it was NOTHING like the book, except for the names of SOME of the characters and the term The DUFF. In fact, I couldn’t recall there being a mean girl in the book. There were no major make-over sessions with Wesley Rush, the guy who divulged to the main character Bianca Piper that she was The DUFF.
I couldn’t say which I preferred because I think they were both made and written for different audiences. While the film was more for tweens and teens, I thought the book would be more suitable for say teenagers from the age of 14, or if you’re like me, even older. That’s due to the fact that there were themes of a more mature nature. Like teens having sex with no strings attached. Both though had a similar sort of message – to accept yourself and not care what others thought of you.
“The Duff poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Duff_poster.jpg#/media/File:The_Duff_poster.jpg
What exactly does The DUFF mean? It’s The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Not necessarily an actual person who is obese or ugly per se, more like the less attractive in the group. The one where others go to for information about their close friends because they were more approachable. It’s who they use to get intel on their friends. Sound familiar? Yes, the film did make me wonder if I was indeed The DUFF when I was in high school.
The film addresses pretty current issues of bullying through social media, social acceptance and self acceptance, issues that are even more important in this day and age. Don’t expect heart blowing romance between the two nemesis in the film, or at least I didn’t think there was any chemistry between them and unlike the book, the film didn’t really show why the popular guy decided to choose the not-so-popular girl. The book however dealt with more pressing issues, which I don’t think would have sold well with the parents bringing their younger kids to watch the film.
Overall I thought it was a quick and light film to watch, and successful in delivering the message they wanted to drive across – to treat people with respect and love yourself no matter what. I still preferred the book though.
Have you seen the film or read The DUFF? Do you normally get dragged to watch less mature films?