MAE WHITMAN is a talented actress who is beloved in many projects, including Arrested Development, Parenthood, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and motherfucking Independence Day. She should have many great opportunities in her career. At 26, she is closer to my age than that of a high school senior. So imagine my disappointment to learn that she'd be playing the lead in this movie I am reviewing right now called The DUFF. FYI, "DUFF" stands for "Designated Ugly Fat Friend."
"But Mae Whitman's not ugly or fat!" you say. And you are correct.
Obviously, I went in with a bad attitude.
But The DUFF is... not bad? When Whitman's character, Bianca, learns of her status as the "approachable" one in her group of hot friends, she goes on a voyage that hits all the teen movie clichés: She pulls a She's All That while getting Mean Girls-ed by mega-bitch Madison (Bella Thorne). She pines for a Joe-from-Say Anything. She gets ridiculed, à la Easy A and Carrie, and then there's some more She's All That before closing with a necessary Pretty in Pink. Basically, imagine a full-length feature film of the Taylor Swift "You Belong with Me" video, but Tay's character has hideous overalls instead of glasses.
And just like Taylor Swift, The DUFF is predictable and bland but has an undeniably sweet center. Did I enjoy it because I too am a brown-haired short girl with a round face who had a lot of friends who were boys before I had a boyfriend in high school? POSSIBLY. But more than that, I appreciated The DUFF because I was seated next to two dorky teenage girls at the screening who were loudly whispering, "UM, AWKWARD" every two minutes, laughing hysterically, and clearly having the times of their lives. They found something relatable in Whitman's Bianca, and I can't deny that that's something special.
So maybe li'l Mae Whitman can remain beloved. And maybe I'll start wearing overalls again.