022. The DUFF

2 July 2015


In The DUFF, 
Bianca actively seeks to change the label attached to her name, through enlisting the help of her neighbour Wesley Rush - a charmer amongst the ladies. She finds herself on a journey discovering her identity and road to self-acceptance.

I remember when I read The DUFF at seventeen - barely out of secondary school and learning to explore the world around me. I found myself captivated by this story because it addressed so many important issues that teenagers face in the modern age; politics between families, social hierarchy between their peers, and defining labels that are so hard to get rid of. I loved the message of the book, so I was excited when I heard it would be brought to life.

Although the movie was enjoyable - it was so far from the story I had envisioned on screen. I had waited so long, only for the story to be sabotaged and destroyed on screen for no true purpose. This movie slaughtered the book I fell in love with. And while it was enjoyable, it was so far from it's true potential. What had the makings to be a brilliant story in it's own right was completely upstaged by the producers attempt to become the 'next big teen story'. So heartbreaking indeed!

Highlights
The DUFF was enjoyable - but as somebody who loved the book wholeheartedly, I'm struggling to find things I loved about this movie. I did enjoy the witty script and found it to be very reminiscent of the book. I loved the moments where I began to see elements of the novel that captivated me come to little life. I enjoyed some of the elements of incorporating social media into the film ... 
Bianca had a pretty room ... As you can see, having a real hard time thinking of something concentrate I loved, and that's because I know this movie didn't reach it's true potential, which leads us to the ....


Shortcomings
This movie tried to be everything that is 'current' and 'popular', which completely goes against the actual message of the story. Be who you are and embrace it in all it's weird glory. It took a story I had not seen on screen before for our generation, rebranded it, and just slammed in Mean Girls and social media references to create a movie to 'attract' the masses. Utterly disappointing seeing how the book itself covered such amazing topics and aspects that were completely overlooked by the film. Where was the complexity of Bianca's parent's divorce? Where was the mentioning compensation love for both Toby and Bianca?

What I truly can't even begin to understand is why The DUFF's story content was changed in the first place. From my understanding, it was because the novel was seen to be too sexual. But what they had mentioned in the film was actually much more sexually explicit than the original source material. Where was the use of sex as a distraction from real life issues? Where was the intensity and complexity of 
Bianca and Wesley's relationship that goes beyond a normal teenage romance? Apparently their relationship was too sexually explicit for an teenage audience than the reference to pornography.

And really - what was the point of Madison's character?! Honestly. What did she even do in this movie that was so profound, so important that it added value to the film? She was your typical mean girl with no substance, and so irrelevant. Her character was part of the whole clich√© bad and white high school image. 
Where are Bianca's friends throughout the film? Where is all the emotional attachment between friendships? It's almost like they tried to encapsulate the vibe of the book, while creating an entire different story. It did not work. Lord. If you are going to adapt a book - stick to the source material. Or expand on the source material. Do not make a new story and pass it off as the original work. 

Conclusion
The directors completely missed the point of this film, and clearly did not spend enough time reading the original source material. There's a reason the book was so successfully loved by it's fans - there's no need to tamper with that. Overall this book adaptation while entertaining, was thoroughly disappointing. In this case - the book was miles better than the film.

What did you think of The DUFF? Hit or Miss?

Image Source 1 

Post a Comment

Latest Instagrams

© Creative In The Arts. Design by FCD.