The Duff

Tired of being upstaged by her glamorous gal pals, a brainy high school senior (sitcom veteran Mae Whitman) recruits a popular jock to give her dating and fashion advice. The title of this generic teen comedy is an acronym for Designated Ugly Fat Friend, though the heroine is neither fat nor ugly (nor even all that socially graceless). Similarly, the ostensible message of accepting difference is overwhelmed by a spirit of blind conformism; Whitman learns not to care what other people think of her, yet the filmmakers present her winning the admiration of her classmates as her biggest triumph. Josh A. Cagan adapted a young adult novel by Kody Keplinger; Ari Sandel directed.