The House Bunny

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The ViewQueenstown Review

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Review byMatthew Turner8/10/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins (approx)

An entertaining comedy that delivers several good laughs and has some strong comic performances, but doesn't quite pull off its romantic subplots.

What's it all about?
Anna Faris plays Shelley, a Playboy Bunny who gets kicked out of the Playboy Mansion when she turns 27, because "27 is 59 in Bunny years". With nowhere to go, she finds herself on the doorstep of Zeta Alpha Zeta, a sorority house of unpopular geeky girls (including Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Rumer Willis and Katharine McPhee), whose house is under threat of closure unless they can drum up some new members.

Convinced that she can make the girls popular, Shelley deploys all her best Bunny tricks and sets about giving them makeovers and teaching them about the opposite sex. However, when the same tricks fail to work on shy nursing-home administrator Oliver (Colin Hanks), she realises that the girls might have something to teach her about just being herself.

The Good
The House Bunny frequently feels like a dumbed-down version of Legally Blonde, which isn't that surprising, since it's written by the same screenwriters. Faris is hilarious as the unflappable Shelley and there are several great running gags, such as Shelley having to growl everyone's name in order to remember it.

The film also benefits from a hugely likeable supporting cast – rising star Emma Stone (Superbad) is adorably goofy as house president Natalie, while Kat Dennings has a nice line in cynical wisecracks as Mona. There's also strong support from Beverley D'Angelo (as the House Mother of a rival sorority), while Hugh Hefner puts in a not-at-all self-deprecating cameo as himself.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is that the romantic subplots fall horribly flat, partly because of terrible acting (singer Tyson Ritter should stick to his day job) and partly because there's no chemistry between Hanks and Farris. The film also cops out a little by not having the balls to portray Hefner in a bad light.

Worth seeing?
With strong comic performances and some good laughs, The House Bunny is fluffy, forgettable fun, but it's no Legally Blonde.

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Content updated: 19/04/2019 14:23

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