Review by Robert Bell (C)
The House Bunny is Legally Blonde's slightly retarded and far more profane cousin who would likely get drunk at a kegger, show everyone her famous ping-pong ball trick and cry about it the next day. It's kind of amusing in its own embarrassing way but lacks any real meaning or sense of self.
Without Anna Faris' unique comic sensibilities there would be very little to redeem this somewhat offensive, formulaic yarn outside of a very large girl attempting to seduce a classmate by indicating that she needs to lay a deuce. All progression and character motivation - regardless of endless feminist rants from secondary characters - stem from a desire to please and attract men. The overall message seems to be something akin to “you don't need to show the world your cooter to get respect, a little cleavage and butt-cheek is more than enough”.
This fish-out-of-water comedy follows Shelley (Anna Faris) after her 27th birthday when she is chagrined to find that she has been evicted from her home; the Playboy mansion. Desperate to find a new home, she stumbles across a college campus and weasels her way into the role of “House Mother” to a sorority filled with dysfunctional social misfits in desperate need of a makeover.
Roughly following Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - if they were named: Preggers (Katharine McPhee), Crippley (Rumer Willis), Dorky (Emma Stone), Butchy (Kat Dennings), Stinky, Mutey and Dumpy - there is a reinvention of the freaks urged by the inevitable fear of losing the sorority house to a group of preppy skanks led by Mrs. Hagstrom (Beverley D'Angelo). Throw in a requisite love interest in the form of Colin Hanks and the formula is complete.
Despite a fairly crappy, by-the-numbers script, Anna Faris does manage to make some of the obvious jokes unique and amusing. There are few actresses that could pull off the Marilyn Monroe standing over a vent gag with any sort of originality but Faris manages. There is an insight and intelligence to her dippy reactions and blank stares that makes it all that much droller.
Cameos in the form of Hugh Hefner and those three hookers from his reality show appropriately but annoyingly make their way on screen and thankfully the obnoxious Kendra doesn't laugh or speak much.
Those who like Anna Faris will forgive the film many of its faults given her abilities, however, those who do not care for Ms. Faris will most certainly find this movie unbearable as it is essentially a retread of Sydney White with more fake boobs and pubic hair jokes.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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