This… well. This particular session of book to movie thoughts is going to be a hard one. Why? Couple of reasons. One, I absolutely adored the book and thought the movie wouldn’t compare; Two, the movie compared and overshot the book; And three, the book and the movie were… this might be a spoiler. This whole post is going to be a mass of spoilers, honestly, it would be too impossible to give my thoughts if it didn’t have some. Curious? Continue on.
So, as I was saying, the book and the movie were almost utterly and completely different. There were so many things in the movie that were changed that I think it’s basically safe to say that they kept the names and they kept the whole DUFF thing, but the actual story line was vastly different. I’m not even sure where to start, to be perfectly honest.
The first thing that really hit me as I was watching the movie was the whole thing with Bianca’s parents. In the book, she lives with her dad and her mom is AWOL (except she technically does have leave in a sense), but in the movie, her mom pops up almost immediately out of nowhere and it’s her father that’s missing in action. This threw me though a massive loop. If her mom is there instead of her dad, then what the heck is going to happen to the plot? Her dad was a massive point and replacing him with B’s mom… what did that mean?
Well. It meant a totally new plot. And completely new interactions with the characters.
Wesley and Bianca were almost friends in the movie, whereas in the book they were nothing more than friends with benefits, and that was a massive fuel point for the book plot. Without that there for the movie, the movie took a totally different turn. I understand why they didn’t go with the book plot for the movie, but I sort of wished they hadn’t gone for the “embarrassing video leak means girl is laughing stalk of school” deal. While it was hilarious and still played out pretty well, it’s still an overused trope. Not to mention there was a gratuitous addition of a mean girl that was not present in the book. I don’t really know what was up with that, I don’t think it was totally necessary.
What I really did like about the movie was how much more involved Wesley was. His role in the book kind of pales in comparison to his role in the movie, and that movie role basically overshadows the role of Bianca’s best friends, Casey and Jess, who are pretty much background noise the entire time. He’s the one who helps Bianca get together with Toby, who has his own personality swap out in the movie adaptation.
Actually, I didn’t even recognize Toby, and this might be the thing I found fault in the most when it came to the movie version. Toby no longer actually wants to go out with Bianca for being Bianca like he did in the books, he wants to go out with her to play on the whole DUFF role that she fills, only confirming Wesley’s accusation presented in the beginning of the film. He’s played off as being a massive douche bag and not worth a lick of Bianca’s time, whereas in the book, he at least ends the relationship on terms that Bianca is okay with (since she’s in love with Wesley and everything by that point). They really fudged up that aspect.
Really, they kind of fudged up the entire thing. Badly. In a way that created a good movie, but a terrible adaptation of a book.
There is so much of a difference between the movie and the book that I could go on and on, considering they could basically be totally different entities, but I won’t. I don’t really feel like the movie version of DUFF and the book version should be compared since they’re so different, and I’m not even sure this movie should be called an adaptation of the book since it’s more like they took the very bare bones premise and made a movie out of it. But if I’m being honest, I’m only somewhat upset that they didn’t stay true to the book, because I ended up absolutely loving the movie once I dropped all ideas of it being related to the book. So. All in all, I love both the movie and the book and as it is, I wouldn’t change anything about them. Just don’t go in thinking they’re going to be alike in anything other than name and you’ll be okay.
Thanks for reading!
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend