Once upon a time, in the 80’s and 90’s, I used to watch lots of teen comedies that followed the all-to-common formula; high school teen misfit girl transforms from ugly ducky to swan. (I always thought the girls were cuter as the ugly duck). I grew out of this phase at the appropriate time and have either not noticed their existence or there are less of them. The Duff, came across my desk (computer) and even though I suspected it would be full of tropes, I decided to give it a look. Not to different from what I’d come to expect, Mae Whitman takes on the role as Bianca, the geeky not-so-pretty girl, low on the totem pole at her high school. Not so low where she doesn’t have friends but, as “The Duff”—Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Once she becomes self aware of what she is, she reaches out to the school’s top-jock, Wes ( Robbie Amell), where they strike a deal that he helps move her up a few notches and she helps him pass science class. To no surprise there’s a chunk of montage-like scenes (don’t expect super cheesy ones here) where these two both achieve their goals as well as falling for one another. Spoiler you say? Well if you didn’t see that coming then…wow…speechless… Making up for a lackluster plot is everything else. The dialog is modern and snappy and it includes some relevant and childish humor. The most notable and amusing scenario is when Bianca and her friends part ways and have a unfriending fight by removing one another from their social media accounts. In addition to the humor is that The Duff brings Cyber-Bullying to the movie screen. I’m a bit shocked to say that this is tactfully done and never comes across as sappy. Both Whitman and Amell take their stereotype roles and make them their own. Whitman steals every scene that she’s in and I will absolutely check out future movies she’ll be in. Amell takes the jock role and adds more depth than I’d expect. Actually to the point where he’s very likable and comes across as real and genuine. The supporting cast helps round out the experience where again each role seems to have a full fleshed character behind them. This is something that I rarely ever come across, nevertheless expect to see in a teen comedy. The Bottom Line: Behind The Duffs predictable plot is witty and modern humor delivered by a superb cast. I almost might go as far as saying that this is today’s take on Mean Girls.