During a party, college football star Wes tells his buddy Bianca that she is a ‘DUFF’, or ‘Designated Ugly Fat Friend’ and guys are only sociable to her in order to get with her good-looking girlfriends. Shocked, she tries to reinvent her look in order to win over Toby (Eversman), who she’s hot for.
Ari Sandel bases this story on Kody Keplinger’s novel of the same name and gives us a lighthearted yet telling look at the kind of peer pressure that some US high school students face.
So systematic is the improvised ‘class system’ is that there are even innocuous sounding acronyms designed to conveniently categorize peers into neat slots.
Bianca has great grades, yet she doesn’t realize that guys are nice to her just to use her like a ‘gateway’ to approach her bombshell babe buddies Jess (Samuels) and Casey (Santos). Bianca has both wit and candor but she wears pajamas to school and is decidedly frumpy.
She is pissed off with Wes for his bluntness (“On an average day how many people ask you questions about Jess and Casey, and how many about you?” he asks her) but at the same time, is appreciative that he serves her the truth straight up.
They make a deal to help each other out. He will help her change her look and mannerisms into something that conforms to what her peers consider cool and she will help Wes with his science grades so that he can get his sports scholarship for college.