The DUFF: Movie vs. Book

We all wonder about movie versus book adaptations, right? Why didn't they put this bit in? Or I loved this part, I wonder how they'll do it in the movie? Or my personal favorite: which first, book or movie?

Today, I'm doing a deep dive into The DUFF because I recently watched the movie and read the book (in the order, sue me). So, let's get to it.

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR BOTH AHEAD


Plot

2 words: Vastly. Different. Let's just say I was ultra surprised. The common thread here? The word "DUFF". 

Movie

I loved the style of the movie. The way they did snapshots, I guess? for lack of a better term, really let's you see into Bianca's mind. Which if you think about it, is pretty hard to do otherwise in movies, without just voiceover monologues. So thumbs up on style. The movie plot was light and fun, and reminded me a lot of Mean Girls. Don't get me wrong, it isn't really like Mean Girls. It just reminded me of it. Anyway, I enjoyed the plot.

Book

Movie did not follow the plot line of the book. To be honest, the movie pretty much differed completely here. The book had a lot more meat and a lot more emotion. Which of course is a fundamental difference between the platforms, but you get my point. To be honest, I think I enjoyed the plot of the movie more. The book plot was a lot more inwardly focused on Bianca, which was fine, but it didn't have much lightheartedness to it.


Characters

Bianca

Movie/Book: Even though the plot varied, her character boiled down to the same essence. Which I'm so happy about in hindsight. Because I really loved her character. It was really fantastic. I enjoyed it so much in the movie, partly because of Mae Whitman's portrayal, but also partly because it wasn't as heavy as the book's plot forced it to be.

Jess & Casey

Movie: They almost don't even get a character slot in the movie because they're completely useless except to classify her as the DUFF...

Book: They're totally awesome best friends (in typical YA world obviously, they've got flaws of course). Their friendship makes sense. They have ups and downs. It's not a weird breakup like in the movie and it felt more real. Vote book on this one.

Wesley Rush

Movie: Fun, (a little rude) but honest right?, hot, and ultimately a great guy. Also, shout out to the Homecoming scene. Can I rewatch that a dozen times? Okay, great. Sure, he had moments where I was like, srsly? But he's a high school boy, he had to grow into his awesomeness.

Book: Cue the eye-roll please. He's your classic McHotty-McDouchery, I'm the best, AND he DUFFed HER! Nope. I'm out. He had some crazy baggage, that maybe gave him "depth" but I was 100% on board with movie Wesley. Book Wesley was gross.

Madison

Movie: 1-800-Biotch. Her character is the bane of Bianca's existence, and this goes back to rewatching the Homecoming scene because this is partly why I love it. Bianca's growth really shines here.

Book: Oh yeah, she didn't exist in the book. Yep, her character was completely invented for the movie. So was Bianca's "special rock". Go figure.


If you LOVED the book by Kari Keplinger, you might not enjoy the book (and vice versa). Like I touched on above, they're vastly different. The bare bones and elements are there, sure. But you have to dig deep and ignore, well, everything else in order to love both. Honestly, in my mind, they're two different books that have the same name. It's a weird concept, but that's how they're coexisting up there. My vote is for the movie, because I think it's better as something fun and lighthearted, the girl gets the guy, etc. But I'm not against the book at all! My view could be different if i had read the book first, who knows?


I'm not the kind of person who has to always read the book before the movie. I like to and try to, but I also try to read the book once I find out that the movie was based on the book. I also don't get personally offended if they made creatively different decisions than I would have. I just think of it as their imagination. I have my version and this is theirs. They just had the means to produce theirs and I don't (yet of course).