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guy d’alema

Why the latest outsider-teen comedy nails it

Photo Credit: Guy D'Alema
Following in the light-loafered footsteps of 2013's G.B.F. is the newest sassy high-school-label comedy, The DUFF (translation: Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Its heroine, Bianca (Mae Whitman), is neither ugly nor fat, but compared to her sexy besties and the campus bitch -- who's so hot "even the gay guys would sleep with her" -- she's as basic as your average "before" picture. When she learns her social status from Wes (Robbie Amell), a chiseled jock prone to impromptu pecs-ercises, Bianca launches a full-on revolt, complete with a militant make-under (Crocs! fuchsia socks!).
Boosted by John Hughes hat tips (cue the homage to Pretty in Pink's dressmaking scene) and an arsenal of zingers ("You need to dress less like Wreck-It Ralph," Wes quips to Bianca), the film argues that everyone's been a DUFF at some stage, be it the glee club backup singer or the awkward sub in the teacher's lounge. And if that's not your bag, there's also Allison Janney, who, as Bianca's divorcee mom, copes by downing chardonnay while running over her ex's clothes with a lawn tractor. Ugly, indeed.

The DUFF opens Feb. 20. Watch a clip below:

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