CBS Films’ “The DUFF” is set to shatter teen movie cliches, but John Hughes‘ seminal 1980s classics still remain a great source of inspiration for those behind the film.
“I think the idea of the anti-hero, the underdog, it being their story is really appealing and cool,” the film’s star Mae Whitman told TheWrap during an interview alongside co-star Robbie Amell and the author of the novel on which the film is based, Kody Keplinger. “I think we also wanted to bring in some of the John Hughes elements, some of the ‘Pretty in Pink.'”
Whitman plays Bianca in the new Ari Sandel-directed high school comedy, who has a falling out with her best friends after a clueless neighbor (Amell) lets it slip that she’s their DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). A journey of self-discovery ensues, with makeovers, romantic entanglements and messages of staying true to yourself in tow.
“Before the book even came out, I had written on my blog that I thought Mae Whitman would be a great Bianca,” Keplinger shared. “So a while later, with the movie happening, I got a phone call going, ‘You’re not going to believe this.'”
The author and stars also discussed which classic teen movies they would like to remake and which classic character they would play. Not surprisingly, it’s Hughes-heavy.
“I would never want to remake the movie because it’s such a classic, but if it had never been made… ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,'” said Amell, to the enthusiastic agreement of Whitman and Keplinger, who could clearly see the “Flash” star in the Matthew Broderick role.
The author herself thinks “The Breakfast Club” could do with an update.
“I love that movie and it holds up so well, but the cliques are a little different now,” Keplinger said, who added she’d have the most fun playing the Ally Sheedy character.
“Some Kind of Wonderful” is Whitman’s pick. “I just love that movie so much,” she said. “The best friend role in that — she’s just so unapologetically punky, like, ‘You’re stupid and we’re meant to be together.’ I really like her power in that role.”
“The DUFF” opens in theaters on Friday, Feb. 20.