Saturday, 26 September 2020
The House Bunny
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Thursday, 04 September 2008 00:00

ThumbnailAnna Faris really does know what boys like. She’s cute, blonde, has a sweet smile and great figure. But most of all she knows how to make ‘em laugh!  That combination of sexy and silly grabs guys by the… well, you know. In The House Bunny she tries to impart her, umm, wisdom, on some misfit sorority girls.

Shelley (Faris) has always felt like an outcast, having been left on the steps of an orphanage when she was a baby. As she describes it, no one wanted to get her back although they did ask for the basket to be returned! She finally finds the home she always dreamed of when her figure blossoms and she takes up residence in the Playboy Mansion. Hef (played by the real Hugh Heffner) and the other house bunnies become her substitute family. But after her twenty-seventh birthday, Shelley finds herself homeless and abandoned once more. It seems she’s too old to stay on at the mansion.

When she naively wanders onto a university campus and into a sorority house she thinks the perfect job for her would be to become a housemother. So she takes on the Zeta girls, a group of social outcasts residing in the poorest and least respected sorority – one that is about to be disbanded unless they can come up with enough pledges. Shelley promises to teach the girls how to become popular so they can earn enough pledges to keep their sorority alive.

The House Bunny reminds me of a cross between Clueless and Legally Blonde, with about half the brain cells of either. It has the potential but lacks a script sharp enough to elevate it beyond your average teen-film fare. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to watch at times, and the wide-eyed performance of Anna Faris breathes some life into a cliché story. Had she been given a better script this could have done for her what Legally Blonde did for Reese. She really deserves better than more Scary Movie sequels. I think she must have her lucky rabbit’s paw tucked away somewhere inside those skimpy outfits though, since she is getting enough attention to be featured on the cover of Playboy. I guess she must have made quite an impression on old Hef!

ThumbnailThe other breakthrough is Emma Stone (The Rocker) as the sweetly nerdy Natalie. She bounds through the material with goofy abandon, but it’s not hard to see there’s beauty in this geek. In fact all of the sorority girls seem to have fun turning into ugly ducklings, including Katharine McPhee (of American Idol), Rumer Willis (of Bruce and Demi), and Kat Dennings (Charlie Bartlett). But of course despite all the makeovers and slutty clothing, the message here is that being yourself – although the cutest, prettiest version of yourself – is what’s really important.

The House Bunny is predictable and, like Shelley herself, a little vacant but cheerful enough to be an enjoyable diversion.