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The House Bunny

The House Bunny

Director:Fred Wolf
Cast:Anna Faris, Emma Stone, Julia Lea Wolov, Christopher Mcdonald
Release Date:2008

By Cole Haddon | Posted 8/20/2008

The House Bunny is a rare event in Hollywood standards, a broad comedy carried by a woman. Anna Faris, the star of the Scary Movie franchise, is probably her generation's strongest big-screen funnywoman, and yet she's almost always been relegated to toothless supporting gigs. Thanks to The House Bunny and her role as an aspiring Playmate, Shelley Darlington, she might finally get her due.

Shelley has lived in the Playboy Mansion for her entire adult life, as one of Hugh Hefner's infamous girlfriends (Hef and his "girls next door" all play roles), but she's never managed to bare all in Playboy's hallowed pages. The sense of family Shelley, an orphan, finds in this environment makes it all the more tragic for her when a scheming rival manages to get her kicked out with not even a penny to her name. With nowhere to go, Shelley takes refuge in another sort of communal house, a sorority. Not just any sorority either--the geekiest sorority on campus. It's not long before Shelley, who has no qualms about wandering around naked, is trying to inspire her frumpy wards, which include American Idol alum Katharine McPhee and Bruce and Demi's daughter, Rumer Willis, to exploit their innate hotness. For Shelley, everything can be fixed with physical beauty, from the sorority's dilapidated building to their financial woes. As in all Greek-system comedies, the sorority is in danger of getting shut down by the end of the semester because of its profound outsider status. Unfortunately for Shelley, her limited understanding of the real world--that is, the world not driven by silicone and airbrushing--costs her the affection of a young activist she has a crush on (Colin Hanks) and, worse, the love of her sorority sisters when they realize Shelley has just turned them into clones of the superficial sorority of bitches they used to view as all that's wrong in the world.

Meanwhile, back at the Playboy Mansion, ol' Hef is miserable. He's been told Shelley left of her own free will while he was on vacation, and so now all he can do to blunt the pain of the loss is lie in bed and stuff himself with Ben and Jerry's. When he discovers the truth, he begs Shelley to come back, even offers her the chance to become a Playmate, but, well, that world doesn't make sense to Shelley anymore. She's found her place in the world, and she has to somehow get it back. The House Bunny isn't going to cure cancer, but it might inspire confused young girls with its message--a rarity for any comedy. For the rest of us, it's just plain funny.

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