The House Bunny

Posted August 28, 2008 in Film

Anna Faris plays Shelley Darlingson, a once-homely orphan who blossoms into one of Hugh Hefner’s princesses. But the morning after her 27th birthday (59 in Bunny Years) she’s evicted from paradise and forced to find a new place like home in a skimpy version of Dorothy’s gingham and pigtails. That this is the real biography of most pinups should have a comic bite, except there’s no venom. If Legally Blonde screenwriters Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith have penned another sly send up of female roles, director Fred Wolf is too distracted by easy excuses for T&A shots of star Anna Faris’ ruffled panties wafting in the breeze to notice. All seem more comfortable heading in another fish-out-of-water comedy where a blonde in candy pinks discovers academia, here as the House Mother of the loser sorority on campus. Save for a hunchback farm girl with a look only Dorothea Lange would love, there’s a weaker attempt than most makeover comedies to hide the gals’ inner and outer beauty—they’ve got legs and smiles for days. The comedy lumbers towards a middle act where the newly-hot chicks become the mean girls they’ve always loathed and Faris realizes that her mansion seduction skills don’t work on her brainy beau Oliver (Colin Hanks) in one of the only scenes where Wolf’s USA Up! All Night tone doesn’t trumpet tits over thoughts. But Faris is so sincere and good-hearted that she never cheapens herself with the bimbette role. The criminal waste of Faris’ comedic gifts should have half of Hollywood locked up. (Oddly, only Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain has given her a chance to shine.) Like her character, she deserves respect. (Amy Nicholson)



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