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3 Ways The Duff​'s Mae Whitman is like Zooey Deschanel, but better (VIDEO)

Tiffany Antone is a playwright and instructor, who also finds time to produce and direct new and innovative works. Her plays have been read/produced in NY, LA, DC and AZ, and she is the creative mind behind Little Black Dress INK — a fem...

After you watch this clip of The Duff, you'll want to be BFFs with Mae Whitman, too

Watch out, Zooey Deschanel! There's a new quirky gal in town and we kind of love her.

Fans of Parenthood are not strangers to Mae Whitman's delightful talents — the actress won our hearts as Amber Holt in the NBC drama for six years. But now she's winning over our fangirl hearts in a whole new way with her role as Bianca in The Duff.

More: Parenthood: The definitive endings for each Braverman — ranked

In The Duff, Whitman plays a high school senior who is appalled to find out that she's been labeled the DUFF (designated ugly fat friend — seriously!) among her group of prettier, more popular friends. Deciding that she needs to reinvent herself, she recruits a hot student athlete to help her take on the social structure at her school, leading to lots of awkward and funny moments.

While the plotline itself isn't all that revolutionary, the choices that Bianca makes, paired with Whitman's performance in the role, feel refreshing, landing this film on our must-watch list for spring!

It also has us comparing her to another offbeat girl who, up until recently, has pretty much held the market on the "quirky girls we wish we were besties with" list: Zooey Deschanel.

Here's why Whitman's moved up to the top of that list:

Less like a doll, more like a human being

After you watch this clip of The Duff, you'll want to be BFFs with Mae Whitman, too

Image: Nikki Nelson/WENN.com

There is no denying that Zooey Deschanel is gorgeous, but her signature look always makes her feel like the girl at the party who would be leading makeup lessons, not laughing with us about how impossible fake lashes are. And while we're not knocking the importance of having a fashion-forward friend, it's also incredibly refreshing to be surrounded by girls who make you feel totally normal for accidentally gluing an eyelash or two to your forehead by mistake.

Whitman feels like she'd not only be laughing along with us, but recounting her own tales of fashion woes to match.

More: 10 Times Zooey Deschanel looked beautifully retro

Girl appeal

There's a world of difference between Deschanel's "girls want to be her, guys want to date her" appeal and Whitman's "you already are this girl and here's why that's awesome" vibe. Maybe it's the fact that Whitman feels like a genuine "girl next door" as opposed to the less approachable ingenue that Deschanel usually plays.

More: Happy #ShortGirlAppreciationDay! 15 Stars who are 5 feet tall or under

After you watch this clip of The Duff, you'll want to be BFFs with Mae Whitman, too

Image: FayesVision/WENN.com

Making us laugh

Both of these women are funny, but their humor comes from different places. While Deschanel brings wide-eyed, seemingly-innocent-but-not-really humor to her roles, Whitman's roles are more likely to crack us up with bawdy and awkward guffaws.

And we like to laugh.

Which is why we'll be at the theater on Feb. 20 to see Whitman absolutely rock the high school rom-com like nobody's business!

Check out Whitman in The Duff and listen to her dish about playing Bianca in the clip below.

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