Residency at Wilkes University is a great time to meet up with old friends, be inspired, and learn a few things. What I never expected when I arrived in Wilkes-Barre PA on a snowy January was hearing that we were getting to meet Kody Keplinger, author of THE DUFF and SHUT-OUT. Not only would Kody be talking to us, but we were also going to see a screening of the new film THE DUFF based on her book.
So, I’ll openly admit. I haven’t read THE DUFF yet. Though, I did buy it when it was first released for the library because I read the synopsis and said THIS IS MY LIFE. However, after talking with Kody and seeing the film adaptation, I bought the book IMMEDIATELY.
So, let me tell you a little about it…
First, Kody Keplinger and Susan Cartonis (Hollywood Producer Extraordinaire) sat down with a group of Wilkes students &
alums to talk about the movie making process. (Sidenote: Susan is a sweetheart. She is the absolute loveliest woman.) Kody is down-to-earth and laugh-out-loud funny. She has a presence that when you meet her, you immediately want to be her best friend. I felt so old, though, because she’s only 23! (She wrote the DUFF when she was 17.)
She had some great advice for writers, but I’ll save that for my personal blog.
Now, the movie screening.
I suppose it was good that I hadn’t read the book before seeing the movie. According to Kody, they are two very different plots, but the “heart” of the story is the same, which is what’s important. (She actually made me look at book-to-movie adaptations differently. More on that later.)
I’ll start off with saying, who doesn’t like to look at Robbie Amell? I mean, seriously — boy is smokin’.
(Sidenote: I do actually prefer his cousin, Stephen Amell more, but hey.)
And Mae Whitman is a comic genius.
I’m terrible at movie reviews, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. It was offing hilarious. Of all the things I was expecting of the movie, I don’t think I expected it to be nearly as funny as it was. The best way I can describe it is a mix between MEAN GIRLS and EASY A. The tone of the film is the same, and the main character of Bianca Piper has the same comic background as both Lindsay Lohan’s character in MG and Emma Stone’s character in EA. At the heart of the movie is a good love story for teens, but also a stronger message of being true to yourself, no matter what.
The movie releases on February 20, so I highly recommend YOU ALL go out and get tickets to see it. You won’t regret the decision. (Girls, drag your boyfriends. I can’t tell you how many times I heard male students say, “I actually really liked it.” And these are guys that are so anti-romcom and as far as teen girl as you can get.) I’ll be seeing it again when it actually releases. And perhaps I’ll have a more coherent review. :D
Movie Rating…12/10 stars.
PS: I did start reading THE DUFF. Review to come.