The DUFF

High school is a battleground where cliques fight for supremacy in this derivative comedy, directed by Ari Sandel and based on the eponymous novel by Kody Keplinger. The demeaning premise is that certain students are branded the "Designated Ugly Fat Friend." Determined to overcome her relegation to this insulting category, a teen (Mae Whitman) enlists the help of the most popular guy in school (Robbie Amell), and together they battle his ex-girlfriend, the queen of the labelers (Bella Thorne). Unfortunately, along with lax underlying values, vulgar sex talk and expletives abound, obscuring some positive messages for young people about self-esteem and respecting the dignity of others.

Watch out for: A benign view of nonmarital sex, frequent sexual images and references, underage drinking, occasional profane and crude language.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG-13, parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015