I love books. And I especially love books that are made into fantastic movies, which is why I was shocked to find that The DUFF movie was so wildly different from the book.
To be honest, I kind of knew it from the trailer. It seemed like the spirit of the book translated into the movie, and it totally did, but the actual plot was different. In fact, I asked Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell about it, and this is what they said.
Mae: Yeah, we’ve heard from them, but I feel like everybody feels really happy and positive about the changes. In a way, it’s almost like it’s not like we tried to recreate it word for word — we kind of told their story in a different way. So, you still have the book as your own story and what it means to you and how it makes you feel, and then there’s a different version of it that you also get to have.
Robbie: Especially since that’s a really tough movie to make for a large part of the demographic, because they can’t get into an R-rated movie, so all of a sudden you’re wiping out a lot of the fans of the book.
Are you ready for it? Here are the most shocking differences we found.
1. Bianca and Wesley’s relationship
There’s no nice way to say this: in the book, their relationship is highly sexual, and that’s definitely not true in the movie. When Robbie told me that “it’s much more R-rated in the book, raunchy…” he meant it. Basically, they start sleeping together pretty early on to escape each other’s problems and it’s a huge plot point early on.
2. There is no “Madison”
Here’s a plot twist if you ever saw one: Bella Thorne’s super-awesome mean girl Madison does not exist in the book. What? That’s right, the movie totally (and in a good way) twists the whole mean girl, high school thing into what drives Bianca to Wesley… but that’s not what happens in the book at all. There’s no Madison, and there’s no mean-girl spirit.
3. Where is Ken Jeong?
He’s the supportive, fun, smart teacher that gets B through her day… so where is he in the books? Nowhere, I’m afraid. She is left pretty alone through her high school career, and the most we hear about it is that she is a good student. Does she even get into college? We don’t know, but we also don’t imagine that Wesley is shooting for it.
4. Mom’s career vs. dad’s alcoholism
OK, this is difficult. But let’s say it together, now: In the movie, mom has a career as a motivational speaker that keeps her emotionally distant from Bianca. While that’s true in the books as well, the main difference is that Bianca lives with her father. Who used to be an alcoholic. Who relapses. Who Wesley has to punch in a pretty dramatic scene. Yikes.
5. Social media addiction, y’all
When the book first came out back in 2010, our social media addiction just wasn’t all that. But when Bianca breaks up with her friends Jess and Casey, it’s a big deal. There are many lines about them unfollowing each other on various social media networks, and it certainly made a huge difference in the movie and the way it was presented.
One of the amazing parts about the movie, though, is that it keeps completely to the story of the book. Although the movie is pretty different (especially if you look at #1 and the way it plays out in the book), the way everyone interacts is still similar. The movie keeps the spirit of the book, and that is what makes it great.
Plus, to be honest, the chemistry between Mae and Robbie is kind of amazing.
More The DUFF stories
The Duff‘s Bianca Santos: Why diverse characters are so important to young girls
3 Ways The Duff‘s Mae Whitman is like Zooey Deschanel, but better (VIDEO)
Bella Thorne has an important message for teenage girls