Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Movie Review: The House Bunny

Sometimes you see a movie review and think, "Wow, here is a train wreck I don't want to get within a mile of" but circumstances beyond your control combine to lure you in anyway. As a thirty-something married male I think it is safe to say I am not the target audience for The House Bunny (2008). Nevertheless, off I went to see it.

The opening scenes had a few laughs but were mostly just setting up the character of Shelly (Anna Faris) whose talents lie more in having a hot body, beautiful face, and skills at being sensual than they do in the areas of having a functioning brain.

When the machinations of another Playboy Bunny lead to Shelly thinking she has been kicked out of the house she finds herself homeless and directionless. She lands at a sorority house full of over the top "individualists".

She then shows them how to be more attractive to boys...primarily by wearing fewer clothes, more make-up, and gyrating their hips and breasts while demonstrating less intelligence. Meanwhile, her own attempts to romance Oliver (Colin Hanks) fall flat as she goofs up again and again. At one point after the transformation of the girls is complete there is a "coming out"scene where they show off their new sexy looks.

Ultimately the situation at the Playboy Mansion is straightened out, she is allowed to move back but instead elects to stay at the Sorority House where everyone has learned they don't need to dress provocatively...they just need to be themselves. And yes, it works for Shelly and Oliver as well...

This is not a particularly deep movie but it is a very entertaining one. Shelly has line after line that are hilarious and quotable. In the end, it is just good fun with a surprisingly large number of laughs and a nice feel-good conclusion.
I think you will see from the pictures pretty much the main theme of the movie visually. They try to attach a weak, "Oh, just be yourself" moral at the tail end but it is at best tacked on. Nobody returns to their anti-social modes of dress or over the top nerdiness, but rather retains some of the more typical modes of dress and less negative attitudes in order to remain close enough to mainline society to be likable. This is definitely not a socially conscious movie but it is an entertaining one.

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