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Overall Rating

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Worth A Look62.5%
Average: 25%
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Total Crap: 12.5%

4 reviews, 8 user ratings

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House Bunny, The
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by Jason Whyte

"When seeing a movie weeks after its release can surprise you..."
4 stars

Anna Faris is so cute and likable as an actress that I will follow her into almost any movie, which is why I decided to walk into a screening of “The House Bunny” this weekend despite the negative reviews and that silly trailer that was in front of every movie I saw for the last three months. And while the film is far from perfect, it is surprisingly watchable because of Ms. Faris and her co-stars, and the implausible story surprisingly holds up well.

At 27, Shelley is too old to be a Playboy Bunny. Asked to leave and find her own way in life, she comes across the Zeta sorority house in the neighborhood of a college. Almost immediately, she is taken in by resident Natalie (Emma Stone) who introduces her to her roommates, all of which are social outcasts. It doesn’t help that Natalie herself dresses in ratty t-shirts and thick framed glasses (I found her ridiculously cute even in the early scenes, but maybe that’s just me), Harmony (Katherine McPhee, known to many from American Idol but remembered by me as the girl who had her breasts grabbed by Tyra Banks) who is incredibly pregnant, and Joanne (Rumer Willis) who has had a back-brace on for far too many years. It is up to Shelley to make the sorority worthwhile enough to be shut down by all the other house mothers (one of which is played by Beverly D’Angelo, who seems to be popping up in quite a few small parts these days).

Yeah, we’ve seen the typical university outcasts before and naturally any problem they have will be solved in the final third of the picture, but at least the performances by the younger cast are funny and likeable enough to keep us interested. In particular, Emma Stone (Jules from “Superbad”) has some really great moments as Natalie, who is eager to please as Shelley and has some fun moments alongside her. I also liked some of the bit parts from the other girls in the fraternity, and Colin Hanks also has some amusing moments as a potential love interest for Shelley.

The spotlight belongs to Anna Faris, however, mostly because she is a smart bunny stuck in a dumb world. She is able to make us laugh just not at the ways that she acts or dresses, but how she’s trying to find happiness as well. And I liked the idea that Shelley doesn’t tramp out all the girls, yet enables the girls to all express their true personalities and make them shine from that. This is all due to Faris’ smile, personality and caring attitude that makes you remember the performance, just like Reese Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde” from years ago. (Note: the writers of this film also wrote “Blonde”, so perhaps they’re onto something here.)

So did I like The House Bunny|? Well, yeah, kind of. There are big laughs and some small ones, and quite a few that don’t, and you can’t take your eyes off the lovely Anna Faris whenever she is on screen (which is the same way I feel about her near perfect performance in “Smiley Face”, which is worth a DVD rental), She’s so funny and has such a presence that I’m sure we will see her in movies for years to come. It comes from all the Happy Madison clan and is directed by Fred Wolf, who was responsible for the unfinished, unfocused disaster “Strange Wilderness” from earlier this year. This is a much more matured effort from Wolf in comparison and who knows; he might even do better than just “kind of” good next time.

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originally posted: 09/25/08 16:50:05
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User Comments

12/19/09 art THIS WHOLE MOVIE WAS A JOKE! 1 stars
11/10/08 Samantha Pruitt Anna Faris is hilarious i wish the movie was better, for more laughs see Smiley Face 4 stars
10/11/08 Unfunny ...really unfunny 1 stars
10/11/08 Colleen H I didn't want to like this...but I laughed like a hyena. 4 stars
9/30/08 s painful. i was literally in pain watching this. 1 stars
9/16/08 Carla A. Anna Faris is talented and funny. She deserves better! 3 stars
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  22-Aug-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 23-Dec-2008


  DVD: 23-Dec-2008

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