So it’s Saturday night. As usual, the offerings on TV are more than a little crap and – as is the case for me at the moment – I’m drained after another bad result from United and all the associated social media fallout and meltdown from other fans that comes with it.
I just want to watch something light that I can enjoy without being burdened by complex plots or deep emotional turmoil.
Last week I tried The Book Thief, and while I thought it was decent enough, the sombre and serious nature of it didn’t push the right buttons for me in the mood I was in. Plus I thought it ended so suddenly that it felt like everything that came before it was just filler.
But I digress; this isn’t a review of The Book Thief..
So anyway, looking for inspiration, I googled the best movies so far in 2015 and in amongst all the usual suspects I came across the name of a movie I’d never heard of; The Duff.
Described as a teen comedy in the Mean Girls mould, I thought that ticked the right boxes, so I decided to give it a shot.
Movies – The Duff Review: What’s It About?
A rather plain girl realises that she’s the Duff – Designated Ugly Fat Friend – of her social circle and enlists her neighbour – a jock who is captain of the High School Football Team – to help her overcome this label.
Movies – The Duff Review: Who’s In It?
It’s a bunch of adults in their late 20s playing teenagers! The ones who count though are main character Bianca (played by Anne from Arrested Development, aka 27-year-old actress Mae Whitman) and her neighbour Wesley (27-year-old Robbie Amell of The Flash). The Duff also includes well-known faces like Allison Janney (The West Wing) and Ken Jeong (Community).
Movies – The Duff Review: How Highly Is It Rated?
Cinema Blend consider this to be one of the best movies of 2015, but beyond that, this usually gets scores around the 3 or 4 star mark, with imdb giving it an underwhelming 6.6.
The fact that I’m writing this straight after watching it even though it’s late and I’m tired suggests one of two things.
Either this is one of the most amazing movies I’ve ever seen or my thoughts can be summed up briefly.
In this case it’s the latter.
The Duff isn’t one of the most amazing films I’ve ever seen, but it is good.
It’s formulaic and predictable and has a rather twee and unsubtle moral to its story (that you should be comfortable in yourself rather than worry about what other people think) but it doesn’t need to have much else to it.
It’s a teen comedy, and does a good job of making you laugh in the right places. It’s also relevant to society in 2015, with social media used as a means of bullying in a way that I suspect it probably is in schools across the world.
The acting is perfectly acceptable too, as Whitman and Amell struck up a great chemistry. You could almost forget that they were clearly too old to play their parts. Almost.
And even though you could probably have guessed how the movie was going to pan out, scene for scene after the first 5 minutes, it still kept my attention for the entire 100 minutes.
Put simply, The Duff is light, it’s funny and it keeps your attention without being even remotely taxing to watch.
And that’s perfect for a Saturday night.
It’s not one of the best movies of 2015 probably, but it’s the sort that you would have no problem watching again in the future.
My advice would be that although you probably wouldn’t want to buy it, if it ever comes available on the likes of NetFlix or Amazon, you could do worse than sit down for a couple of hours and enjoy it.
I certainly did.
Calls to Action
b) Read about my books – focussing on reviews of Doctor Who from the very beginning – here
c) If you appreciate my sense of humour, go ‘Stuart’s Exciting Anecdote of the Day’