by Meanne M. Mijares
It was a Sunday night and sleep is hard to come by. To kill time, I chanced upon a film featured on Sunday’s Best aired over ABS-CBN Channel 2 a couple of months ago. The title is The Duff. It caught my attention immediately so I find myself glued to the tube hoping that it would lull me to sleep. But that didn’t happen until I had to learn the lesson the film teaches.
The Duff is a romantic teen comedy film produced by CBS Films and Lionsgate that was shown in 2015. Directed by Ari Sandell and written by Josh A. Cagan, it is based on the novel of the same title authored by Kody Keplinger. It tells the story of Bianca, a brunette haired senior high school student, who is not as hot and popular as her two best friends Jess and Casey (a Latina and an American blonde). It even hurt her more through a belated and painful realization that people are using her to get close to them because she is their Designated Ugly Fat Friend. She unfriends them on social media and in person as well.
While watching the film, I found its spiritual aspect and that is what I want to write about and expound a bit more here. I believe that at one point in our lives or more often than not we have been or are duffs. It came to my mind the gospel of Matthew 10:2-4 and Luke 6:16 when our Lord Jesus Christ chooses His Twelve Apostles. He chose them to preach the Gospel because He felt sorry for the people in the crowd for they were like a lost sheep without a shepherd. They have no established identity. But with Christ, they do certainly have one. The Lord Jesus changed the meaning of duff altogether: Designated Unique Faithful Follower and Friend of Jesus. Each of the apostles has distinct characteristics, personalities, talents and abilities. The Lord encouraged them to discover and develop, further hone them to achieve and reach their potential and use it to serve Him in others.
At present so many people live in persistent error and are in the dark. The Lord has to send disciples to save as many souls as possible most especially those who suffer in their abandoned condition or pitiable state. Not only the priests, nuns and the clergy that make up the Church are the modern apostles. I believe we all are as well. He will use each one of us to help one another and do our share to make a better world but we must be willing enough to be changed by Him so we can empower others too the way He does for us. No matter who or what we are or what we do we have a life mission and we should not be defined by the world’s standards. Those are just mere shallow labels. We should see ourselves how the Lord sees us and use it to glorify Him with our life, work and service for Him.
Overall, I didn’t feel any of tinge regret watching the film. It has a great story, casting, location, soundtrack, characters and cinematography. But it is even made greater because of the lesson it taught the viewers. And I slept well with an empowering life lesson to get me through life as it unfolds day by day.