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The Duff Review

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When high-school student Bianca (Mae Whitman) discovers she is the Designated Ugly Fat Friend she is understandably incensed but also seeks to reinvent herself to win over her crush (Nick Eversman)

★★★★★

For the non-US high school savvy, DUFF is shorthand for Designated Ugly Fat Friend, designed to make others more attractive in comparison. When she learns she is her group’s chosen sandbagger, Mae Whitman's Bianca is understandably incensed over the phenomenon, which doesn't prevent the frumpy student journalist from attempting to reinvent herself to win over her crush (Nick Eversman).

The result is a little She's All That mixed with a lot of Mean Girls, and even if Ari Sandel's first narrative feature doesn't raise the bar for recent teen romps, Josh Cagan's playful script finds sly ways to tackle modern matters of body image, cyber-torment, and social strata while allowing Whitman and Amell to show off their considerable charms in the process.

A little She's All That mixed with a lot of Mean Girls