Friday, August 22, 2008

The House Bunny

“But I’m 27.”
“That’s 59 in Bunny years.”

The day after her 27th birthday Shelly (Anna Faris) is thrown out of her comfy lifestyle in the Playboy Mansion. Her initial forays into the real world aren’t too successful, and an unlikely misunderstanding with a cop (Dan Patrick) even lands her in jail for a night.

Her luck changes with the discovery of an entire street of mini-Playboy Mansions and a new calling as a House Mother for the lamest sorority on campus, the one full of the kind of misfits you only find in movies like this and Sydney White (read the DVD review) and is constantly facing probation, expulsion, or both. From here you can guess what happens next.

Shelly uses her gifts to turn all the other girls (Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Katherine McPhee, Dana Goodman, Rumer Willis, Kiely Williams) into hotties, fights off the mean sorority girls across the street (Sarah Wright, Rachel Specter), learns an important lesson about herself, and saves the Zeta’s house in a last-minute impassioned plea to the Dean.

There are also a couple sub-plots involving the truth behind Shelley’s expulsion from the mansion and Shelley’s disastrous attempts at dating a normal guy (Colin Hanks). And Hugh Hefner shows up in a small supporting role which provides a few laughs. None of these are as funny as they should be, but they will draw a chuckle or two.

The script is about as cookie-cutter as you come with Faris in a role she could probably do in her sleep by now. I can only hope that she’s grown half as tired playing these roles as I am watching them and gets cast in something which shows some range.

It’s not a bad film, and in many ways it resembles it’s main character. The film looks good, isn’t too bright or puts forth more effort than necessary, but does hold a bit of a sparkle and some hidden heart beneath a shallow surface. Not all the jokes work, in fact many don’t, but there is enough here to make it a slight recommendation for fans of this genre.

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