In case you didn’t know what a DUFF is, the new Film Adaptation of the Novel by Kody Keplinger is about to do what Mean Girls did for the term “fetch”. The Teen-Comedy centers on charismatic and aspiring young Writer Bianca (Mae Whitman), whose world crumbles one day when hunky jock and potential Homecoming King Wesley (Robbie Amell) tells her that all along she has been “The DUFF” in her friendship with her BFFs Casey (Bianca Santos) and Jessica (Skyler Samuels). That is, she is the approachable one who guys use to get closer to her attractive friends. Hence, DUFF = Designated Ugly Fat Friend.
Despite some denial initially, quickly Bianca ends her friendships with Casey and Jessica after this realization. She seeks to carve her own identity, striking a deal with a Chemistry-failing Wesley to help him improve his grades should he help her transition out of DUFF-ness with a makeover. The two childhood friends begin to form a connection, rekindling some of that bond they had as next-door neighbours when little. One wrench in the plans: Manipulative and judgmental “Queen Bee” Madison (Bella Thorne) is out to win back Ex-Boyfriend Wesley. Another hitch, Bianca is a little bit torn as she has feelings for guitar-playing Toby (Nick Eversman), while grappling with her growing feelings for Wesley.
After years in supporting turns, Mae Whitman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Arrested Development) shines bright in The DUFF with a smart and engaging performance as Bianca. Amell also is funny and irresistible the more the Story progresses and the layers of vulnerability are peeled.
Amell and Fiancée Italia Ricci, both from Toronto, got a Homecoming King and Queen’s welcome home tonight at Scotiabank Theatre, with a Red Carpet Canadian Premiere for The DUFF, which had the Audience chuckling. Their proud Families also came out to show their support, stopping to pose for a group Photo.
We chat quickly with Ricci and Amell about their own Homecoming and their lives growing up in Toronto. Ricci, we learn, grew-up in Newmarket, while Amell went to Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute.
Ricci: “I didn’t have a Prom Date in High School. I was definitely a bit weird. I went through a witchcraft phase and a dreadlock phase. I had friends I made towards the end of High School. They’re here tonight and they’re still here. I think The DUFF does a really good job making you realize High School is only as daunting as you make it.”.
On the recent second Season renewal of ABC Family Series in which she stars, she tells us “It’s about April, who’s 24-years-old. She’s diagnosed with Lieukemia and forced to navigate her world – her job, love life and friends. It’s all about hope and never giving up.”.
Amell:“I had good friends, good grades and I played a lot of sports (in High School). But everyone has had their DUFF moments. I had bad skin in High School, so that was my confidence thing.”. “The whole thing about being a DUFF isn’t so much what someone labels you. It’s more your frame of mind.”.
On his Character Wesley, the quickly-rising The Flash Star admits, “I definitely relate to Wesley about the time you cross 35% of the way into this Movie. He starts off a dumb jock and I was a bit worried this was how his Character would be throughout.”. “Then you get to know him and you get to see he has a big heart.”.
Watch our Chats with Ricci and Amell:
Attending The DUFF‘s Premiere held more than one significance for me. In Grade 12, a big part of my year was looking forward to Graduation and of course, Prom Night. Without a part-time job and knowing I couldn’t really afford the rental Tux, tickets nor cab ride for that matter, my Mom secretly went to my Guidance Counselor while I was in class and in her broken English, managed to purchase a pair of Prom Tickets, knowing my excitement for it. As soon as I found out I had tickets after getting pulled-in to see the Guidance Counselor (I thought I was in trouble!), I was overjoyed and knew exactly who I’d ask as my date – one of my Best Friends Dani, who was ahead of me a year. I had fast-tracked ahead to an OAC (Grade 13) Sociology Course and remember having the most amazing time sitting beside her in class. She was so bright, pretty, eloquent and a strong character – actively involved in many extra-curricular activities, like Student Council. We would make each other Mix Tapes and to this day I can remember all the songs she recorded for me. She gave me an eclectic mix ranging from R.E.M. to Rod Stewart. Mine to her usually had Madonna on them – which actually is kinda hilarious considering how age-inappropriate her Music was.
Although I was extremely appreciative of my Mom’s gesture, I felt terrible the more I thought about what sacrifice going to the Prom meant for my Parents. I knew my Mom already was on Disability at work from an injury. My Dad was recovering from his Heart Attack and at a financial loss after he had to give up his dreams of owning a Restaurant since falling ill. Despite my efforts fundraising for my Vocal Jazz Ensemble’s trip to Banff, any remaining savings I had went already to that Trip. My Parents also were paying for my boarding at the time since they had just bought a new home, meaning I would have had to change High Schools for my final year – something I wasn’t willing to do since I loved my School so much.
I came to realize that attending Prom wasn’t going to be a reality and I had to break the news to Dani that I would refund the tickets and give the money back to my Mom. So back I went to see my Guidance Counselor, begging for her to refund the non-refundable Tickets. Word caught-on and all the Teachers were talking about it. My History Teacher Mr. Foy, commended me in class for being what he thought was “noble”. Dani handled it so well and it never sat well with me that I couldn’t deliver my promise.
The Premiere tonight gave me a chance to do something I’d wanted to do since High School and after getting the invite to cover the Red Carpet, I knew who exactly I’d be bringing as my Guest if she happened to be free!
How sweet is this? After making a big splash in 2011, DOLPHIN TALE 2 soon will hit theatres this Summer. Starring Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Mae Whitman and Kris Kristofferson, the heartwarming Sequel follows the Story of a Boy and his efforts to save a Dolphin. Aww!
It has been several years since young Sawyer Nelson (Gamble) and the dedicated Team at the Clearwater Marine Hospital, headed by Dr. Clay Haskett (Connick, Jr.), rescued Winter. With the help of Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Freeman), who developed a unique prosthetic tail for the injured Dolphin, they were able to save her life. Yet their fight is not over. Winter’s Surrogate Mother, the very elderly dolphin Panama, has passed away, leaving Winter without the only Poolmate she has ever known. However, the loss of Panama may have even greater repercussions for Winter, who, according to USDA regulations, cannot be housed alone, as Dolphins’ social behaviour requires them to be paired with other Dolphins. Time is running out to find a companion for her before the team at Clearwater loses their beloved Winter to another Aquarium.
Who doesn’t love a Fairies? Add Natasha Bedingfield to the mix and it’s fair to say we’ve got a win! We love Natasha Bedingfield!! Director of upcoming Animated Feature The Pirate Fairy, Peggy Holmes, says about the decision to have the Singer represent the inner-voice of the Film’s Heroine Zarina, “We felt Natasha’s voice so perfectly spoke to Zarina’s Character, we asked her to also perform our Original Song Who I Am, which was written for The Pirate Fairy.”.
From the world of Peter Pan comes The Pirate Fairy, a swashbucklingnew adventure about Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks), a smart and ambitious dust-keeper Fairy who’s captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. When Zarina’s wild ideas get her into trouble, she flees Pixie Hollow and joins forces with the scheming pirates of Skull Rock, who make her Captain of their Ship. Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman) and her Friends must embark on an epic Adventure to find Zarina, and together they go sword-to-sword with the Band of Pirates led by a Cabin Boy named James (voice of Tom Hiddleston), who’ll soon be known as Captain Hook himself.
The Pirate Fairy also features the voices of Lucy Liu, Raven-Symoné, Megan Hilty and Anjelica Huston.
Hear Natasha Bedingfield‘s Who Am I:
The Cast of The Pirate Fairy & Mr. Will:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada releases The Pirate Fairy on Friday, April 1, 2014.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
We were teased with these super-cute Character Posters a few weeks back, but here are the official Posters for the long-awaited fourth season of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, poking fun at its extended Hiatus: “Now a Story of Family that could not be contained”.
See the Posters below:
Netflix releases Arrested Development Season Four in its entirety on Sunday, May 26, 2013.