Teased this past weekend, the first official trailer for the adaptation of Kody Keplinger’s YA novel The DUFF has hit the internet. Mae Whitman (TV’s Parenthood) stars in the Ari Sandel-directed film as the Designated Ugly Fat Friend (DUFF), a label given to her by her high school circle, prompting her to make some changes in her life.
As noted in our previous article, regardless of the somewhat far-fetched premise, the story does push these issues to the forefront more than any light-hearted teen film has before. After watching the trailer however, it’s hard not to notice the tropes of the genre still holding true – the reign of labels over the high school social order, as well as an otherwise attractive female dressing down (specifically in overalls and without makeup) to seem unattractive, which has been seen in the past in She’s All That and its parody Not Another Teen Movie, in addition to countless others.
On the other hand, it could be argued that every generation needs its own biting high school comedy, as each teen film era from The Breakfast Club to Mean Girls has reinvented it in one way or another for themselves. It is unclear whether these familiar motifs will continue to resonate with the millennials, but if the current popularity of YA adaptations in film is any indication, The DUFF may have a willing audience.