Given the same kind of vibe as something like Legally Blonde (this is from the same screenwriters) or the littler known Sydney White, this college campus comedy is silly, but mostly a good time.
The House Bunny (2008) Film Review
Living in the playboy mansion is like a fairytale dream come true for Shelley Darlingson (Anna Faris). Orphaned and abandoned as a child, Shelly finds what she thinks is home at the mansion. But things change post her 27th birthday when she’s told to leave. Unsure where to go and how to find a new home, Shelley wanders the streets, living in a beat up old car until a series of events lead her to the Zeta sorority house in need of a house mother. The home is also desperately in need of 30 pledges or else they’ll lose their house.
The house occupants includes the uber smart Natalia (Emma Stone); Harmony (Katherine McPhee), the pregnant and pretty one; Joanne (Rumor Willis) the girl who wears a brace as a kind of shield; and also the sarcastic and opinionated Mona (Kat Dennings). A group of misfits with more smarts than social cues, Shelley sets out to revamp the house and the girls to beat the mean girls at their own games.
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This is one of those films that, like anything, simply won’t be for everyone because of the subject. It’s a little bit crude in places, but underneath there’s a good heart because of the characters. Natalie, Joanne, Harmony, Mona and gang are fun if a little rough around the edges characters. Of course, Shelley is equally so though the one thing I didn’t remember is that she’s actually quite ditzy. For some reason I thought it was all an act. She is smart when she applies herself, but she chooses not to. I just didn’t realize that she isn’t hiding actual smarts beneath the silly (because she thought she had to). Colin Hanks also co-stars in a cute kind of supporting actor role.
Those of us who like something like Pitch Perfect won’t mind The House Bunny. It’s got a good heart under the crude and makes it more fun to know that movie trivia says there’s some ab-libbing (like Faris’ monster voice) which makes the reactions more real. The film is just a fun time without the complications of asking us to dissect its intelligence.
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You can find The House Bunny (2008) digitally on Amazon Video; at publication it’s with IMDbTV.
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Content: there’s suggestive crude and sexual humor, like a woman believing a cop wants her to do something other than “blow” on a breathalyzer; there’s a party to “celebrate” a virgin; there’s talk of sex and having sex along with other anatomy sexual references. There’s some commonplace profanity and a use of the F-word. A woman appears before her housemates naked. The film is PG-13.
Photos: Columbia Pictures / Relativity Media / Happy Madison Productions