Let’s get awkward…: Movie talks about insecurities, bullies

Aerin Johnson
Editor in Chief

Robbie Amell and Mae Whitman star in “The Duff,” which was released Feb. 20. (c) 2014, CBS Films. Distributed by McClatchyTribune Information Services. (Photo credit: Guy D’Alema/CBS Films/TNS/MCT0

Robbie Amell and Mae Whitman star in “The Duff,” which was released Feb. 20. (c) 2014, CBS Films. Distributed by McClatchyTribune Information Services.
(Photo credit: Guy D’Alema/CBS Films/TNS/MCT)

As a high school student watching movies about high school life, I often feel that these movies don’t fully represent the truth behind the real high school experience- the one with drama, the one with bullies, the one with technology and the one that shows how crazy life gets.

Then there are those movies that do come along and are the true treasures. “The DUFF” does this perfectly. Produced by CBS Films, this new movie gives a voice to the problems and dramas of being a teenager and the things that make our head spin.

Bianca Piper (Mae Whitman) is a high school senior, journalist, and “cult movie fanatic.” She is one of the least noticed people in the entire school, but friends with the most noticed. She doesn’t understand why this is until her next door neighbor and school’s resident jock, Wesley Rush (Robbie Amell), introduces her to the word DUFF (designated ugly, fat friend). After this massive, insulting wake-up call (and throwing her drink at Wesley), she starts to see everything in a brand new way and wants to find a way to change herself into no longer being the DUFF.

Students deal with problems like Bianca’s all the time. As high schoolers, all we want is to be seen and noticed, especially if we feel like we aren’t. Being a DUFF, in the beginning of the movie is just seen as something that’s normal and accepted. That is, up until Bianca finds out about the word. She takes it to heart and it spins her world out of control.

She wants to change everything about who she is in order that she doesn’t have the label DUFF anymore, including going to the guy she hates most for advice. The question that I have is, why would she do that? Isn’t the main character supposed to be somewhat confident with him or herself? My answer- hack naw!

Bianca’s character is not supposed to have that sort of confidence because no high schooler does (I know from experience). She is all the insecurities that we have as awkward high school students who are going into a world where labels are easy to use and bullying is not easy to squash.

The thing that makes this movie truly great is the amount of technology referenced and used to show how easy it is to share something embarrassing on something great. Even the credits are made to look like login screens for social media sites like Tumblr and Instagram and some are made to look like YouTube videos which play bloopers. The credits even list the casts twitter and/or their Instagram handles.

“The DUFF” is for the modern generation of teenagers and is great to watch when hanging out with friends. This is perhaps not the movie you want to take your parents or younger siblings to, due to several sexual references and inappropriate moments. “The DUFF” is rated PG-13 and runs 1 hour and 41 minutes.

Categories: Column, Entertainment

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