It’s been over 10 years since we learned the perils of being a “mean girl” in 2004’s Mean Girls. That means that it’s time we all had a refresher course in teen popularity politics. In 2015, from CBS Entertainment, comes The Duff, a book-to-screen adaptation of Kody Keplinger’s 2010 novel of the same name. Filming took place in Atlanta, GA, from June 2014 to July 2014.
First things first, DUFF is an acronym, which stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend. It’s a label that’s unfairly put on any girl who is considered to be the least attractive in her particular group of friends, and in this case, Mae Whitman (Parenthood, Arrested Development) takes on the role of Bianca, the girl who gets labeled the Duff. The film also stars Bianca Santos (Happyland), Skyler Samuels (The Nine Lives of Chloe King), and Bella Thorne (Shake It Up!), who play the best friends surrounding Mae Whitman’s Duff. Bella Thorne plays the ringleader, Madison, who may or may not be responsible for Bianca’s hostile new nickname. Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People) plays Wesley, a sharp-tongued jock for whom Bianca develops
feelings after he enlists his help in rebranding her image.
One difference from the book to screen is that it seems Madison is the one responsible for labeling Bianca the Duff, whereas in the book it is Wesley who labels her. We do see Wesley call her the Duff for the first time in the new trailer that just dropped, but the origin is revealed later on. Perhaps this change was an effort to confront the way that teenage girls tend to use things like labels and exclusion to hurt other people. The film is expected to bring to light this kind of high school treachery, and hopefully will show that finding confidence in being oneself is the best way to beat any label.
The Duff opens Friday, February 20, and make sure to check out the new trailer!