The DUFF: Book vs. Trailer

In my Taylor Swift Book Tag I mentioned how much I was looking forward to reading the DUFF (=Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger and now I finally got around to it. As you may or may not know, I buy a lot of the books I read after watching the trailer for their movie adaptation and this one was no exception. All throughout the comments on YouTube people complained about how different the movie looked from the book. I thought this was just the usual annoyance that came with movie adaptations barely ever being faithful to their underlying material, but now I can tell you that the two are really nothing alike. I don’t know what the studio was thinking when they produced this film, but it has nothing to do with the story the book tried to tell.

So, basically the movie looks like a typical generic teenage RomCom – nothing wrong with that. Themes like the one from “She’s All That” and “Mean Gilrs” have been copied a million times for a simple reason: they work. I’m not one to judge them for that and quite honestly I would watch it for the simple reason that it has Robbie Amell in it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not the book.

Warning: from here on there will be Spoilers for the book (and possibly the movie)!

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger is about Bianca Piper, a cynic girl who deals with her problems by entering into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with the person she hates the most: Wesley Rush. She starts avoiding her friends and bottles up her emotions which inevitably leads to a lot of chaos. Despite what the trailer suggests, the story is a lot deeper and deals with multiple issues that not only teens are confronted with. Here are some of the major differences I’ve spotted:

  • Bianca doesn’t come to Wesley for help. She despises him and solely uses him as a means of escape, well until it turns into something else. It’s different than in the movie though. She doesn’t want to change her appearance, or herself in general, to make anyone like her and he doesn’t fall for her just because she’s slowly changing for the better, but because they have a genuine connection. Bianca knows that for the people who really care about her, she doesn’t have to pretend.
  • I have no idea who Bella Thorne is supposed to be. There is no mean girl in the story. Of course there are the obligatory bitchy cheerleaders, but not a particular mean girl who rules the school. Was that really necessary to add?
  • There is some hope in me that they will deal with the family issues of the characters in the movie, even though it doesn’t look like it from what I could tell from the trailer. But I thought it was important to have Bianca’s father’s alcoholism and her mother being away all the time as well as Wesley’s judgmental grandmother, his sweet little sister and so on in the book. The cast list doesn’t really reassure me though … we’ll see.
  • The movie makes it look like the goal of it all is to make Bianca datable for prom – she doesn’t even go to prom! Neither does she go to the Homecoming or any other school dance, because they just aren’t her thing. There better not be some big showdown at prom …
  • The Nest just doesn’t exist. Seems sad to me, since I really wanted to see Joe.
  • I suppose there will be a lot less sex in the movie. Just an educated guess.
  • I suppose the only thing that will be the same in the movie and the book is moral of the story, which means that Bianca soon discovers that everyone who has friends feels like the Duff at some point.

I hope it came across that I really don’t think the stories have anything in common. I mean not even the set up is the same. Have you read the book? Let’s talk about it!

Fall Review: Manhattan Love Story & Happyland

I’ve reviewed a lot of shows for this Fall Season and I am finally about to see an end on the horizon. Today I’m talking about MTV‘s Happyland and ABC‘s Manhattan Love Story! After that I’m only planning on reviewing Jane the Virgin and (the show I am most looking forward to) The Flash. If you still want my opinion on anything else, let me know in the comments below!

Happyland

Have you ever read Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler? Because this show reminds me so much of the book! It’s basically also about teens that work in an amusement park or theme park that is very similar to Disney’s and about falling in love, the illusion of fairy tales and happy endings. The show definitely diverges on some other topics, because parents are barely involved in the story in the book, but are really important to what’s happening in the series.

I have to admit, that I’ve seen stronger pilots this season. Happyland, while interesting on some level, didn’t grab my attention like other shows managed to do. The actors are alright (and include: Camille Guaty, Shane Harper, Katherine McNamara, Cameron Moulène, Ryan Rottman, Bianca A. Santos, Chris Sheffield, …), but the premise is nothing I haven’t seen before in multiple soap operas. It’s difficult to relate to the fact that your crush seems to be your brother and other than that they are just building on a lot of more love triangle-related drama. I can’t really tell where the show intends to go, but I think I won’t follow it for too long.

Manhattan Love Story

Analeigh Tipton seems to be everywhere these days and I certainly don’t mind it. There really isn’t much to say about Manhattan Love Story; it is a fun sitcom that takes on the difficulties of dating and relationships in New York City. If you’ve watched the Trailer above, you’ve pretty much seen the entire first episode. The main cast isn’t that huge and consists of the aforementioned Analeigh Tipton as well as Jake McDorman, Jade Catta-Preta, Nicholas Wright, Kurt Fuller and Chloe Wepper.

So, this isn’t the smartest of shows or something like that, but people like Romantic Comedies and this one is a pretty standard example of one. Besides the extensive thought voice-overs (which are just too much for me), I really don’t find a flaw in it. The show is sweet and fun and that might just be enough.

What are your thoughts? Talk to me in the comments!