The Duff(stylized asTHE DUFF) is a 2015 American teen comedy film directed by Ari Sandel and written by Josh A. Cagan, based on the novel of the same name by Kody Keplinger. The film stars Mae Whitman , Robbie Amell , Bella Thorne , Bianca A. Santos , Skyler Samuels , Allison Janney , and Ken Jeong . The film was released on February 20, 2015, by Lionsgate and CBS Films . It is the first film for which Lionsgate took over CBS Films ' distribution functions.
The Duffis a story about Bianca Piper ( Mae Whitman ), an intelligent teenager in the suburbs of Atlanta who strives to conform to societal standards of beauty and romantic compatibility.
Bianca is enjoying her senior year of high school with two close friends Jess ( Skyler Samuels ) and Casey ( Bianca Santos ) who are significantly more popular than she is. She is also the neighbor and childhood friend of Wesley "Wes" Rush ( Robbie Amell ), a star on the school's football team. She has a crush on guitar-playing Toby Tucker ( Nick Eversman ), and reluctantly attends a party hosted by mean-girl Madison Morgan ( Bella Thorne ), hoping to talk to him. The party turns out to be a disaster for her, as it's there that Wes unthinkingly reveals to her that she is the "DUFF" of her friend group, the "Designated Ugly Fat Friend." The DUFF does not actually have to be ugly or fat, he explains, it's just the person in a social group who is less popular and more accessible than the others in the group. People exploit the DUFF to get to the popular people.
Bianca is insulted and devastated, but she soon realizes that Wes is right. The students in her high school are only interested in her as a way to get to Jess and Casey. She takes her anger out on Jess and Casey and 'unfriends' them on social media and in person.
Bianca later overhears Wes and his science teacher ( Chris Wylde ) speaking, where his teacher tells Wes that unless he passes the midterm, he's off the football team, which can cost him his football scholarship. Desperate to change her social standing, and go on a date with Toby, she strikes a deal with Wes, where she will help him pass science if he'll advise her on how to stop being a DUFF. They have a fun time at a mall, and attempting a makeover by buying new clothes. This backfires when Madison's toady records Bianca playing around in her new clothes and pretending that a mannequin is Toby. They create a video ridiculing Bianca and post it online—leading to the entire school mocking her. It also becomes clear that Madison—a reality-TV wannabe—feels possessive of Wes, her on-again-off-again boyfriend, and is jealous of Bianca's relationship with him.
Wes advises her not to let the video destroy her. Instead, he advises that she own it and just be upfront with Toby, by talking directly to him and asking him out. When Bianca next sees Toby at school she does ask him and, to her surprise, he accepts. Bianca takes Wes to her favorite spot in the forest, her "think rock", to plan a strategy for the date. They kiss, but joke about it and pretend it didn't mean anything. At Bianca and Toby's date at his house, she discovers that he is DUFF'ing her—spending time with her in order to connect with Jess and Casey. She confronts him about it finally seeing him for the shallow and superficial jerk he really is and leaves in tears. Seeking Wes to talk with him about the date, she finds him at the thinking rock kissing Madison.
Angry with Toby and Wes, she reunites with her friends, Jess and Casey, who all along were genuine friends with her and they, along with her understanding mother ( Allison Janney ), convince her to go to the homecoming dance with them, in an outfit that they make together—incorporating elements of her previous wardrobe such as her flannel shirts. At the dance, Bianca tells off Madison—saying, essentially, that we are all DUFFs who should be true to our own identities. Madison is crowned homecoming queen, and Wes is crowned king, but he rejects Madison and the title, and kisses Bianca in front of the whole school. In the end, her article about homecoming is a hit with the students and Bianca is going to attend Northwestern University while Wesley goes to Ohio State, still together.