Duff, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Mae Whitman, Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell. Teen comedy. Directed by Ari Sandel.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier more popular friends.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Thereís very little new here. Itís a comedy about high school life and thatís been done to death. But then for younger movie goers who havenít seen Mean Girls, Sheís All That, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Clueless or the movies of John Hughes, this may all be new and relatable. What helps for those who must sit through such films is the delightful Mae Whitman. Her teen years are actually past her, but she can still carry off being the high school senior and she does it with style and sense.

Whitman, who has an impressive film resume (you may not know this, but sheís the voice of Tinker Bell in all those Disney animated DVDs aimed at adolescent girls) plays her role with both wit and sensitivity and has a way of making all this familiar material seem fresh and honest.

Another positive is that the film isnít about the Duff trying to become Prom Queen, but rather itís about her trying to find herself, be herself. The film is actually about something Ė girls and their self-image, with a spotlighting on cyber bullying thrown in. While Iím, as a Christian, leery of the mantra of female empowerment, or empowerment of any kind, I do believe itís important for girls, or anybody for that matter, to discover that they have worth and that worth doesnít depend on outward appearance or the perspective of others. Thatís a pretty hard message to swallow in a culture dominated by Kardashians and all things superficial. But if an adolescent girl can discover that truism, sheíll find contentment and reason for being. As will anyone.

Kind of hard to tell a tale of adolescent life in movies these days without including the crudity and obscenity that stereotypes an entire generation. The filmmakers donít even try. Itís disappointing that Jesus name is misused by the lead and the writer punctuates his dialogue with the usual obscenities. Not much new or creative about that.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
CBS Films

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A few crude sexual comments and innuendos.

Obscene Language: Around 15 uses of the s-word, one of the f-word and a few minor expletives.

Profanity: I caught two misuses of Jesusí name, and by the lead character no less; 5 or 6 uses of the catch phrase ďOh my GodĒ

Violence: A girl punches a boy; there are a few postings on the Internet that cause embarrassment and self-doubt.

Sex: In a fantasy scene, there is a sexual situation between teens.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 101 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens

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