You can always count on a great teen movie to add a few new words or phrases to the culture at large. Mean Girls gave us “fetch,” Heathers provided us with “the Heathers,” and Clueless gifted us with the best putdown of all time: “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.”
The DUFF‘s contribution to the popular lexicon, however, seems mixed at best. Based on the YA novel by Kody Keplinger, who wrote the book during her senior year of high school, The DUFF is based on a rather unflattering acronym: Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Every circle of girls, the film argues, has a DUFF. Mae Whitman, who is neither ugly nor fat, plays the one here. Bianca (Whitman) is told that she’s the DUFF of her clique by a popular boy, and she seems to waver between making herself over (with the help of the guy who gave her that unfortunate nickname) and appropriating that label for herself.
CBS Films’ promo materials declares, “No matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s DUFF.” We’ll have to wait until the movie comes out to see what that really means.
The DUFF opens April 10, 2015.