“Faris is one funny bunny!”

At first glance The House Bunny may seem like another mindless, teen, college romp for hormone raged adolescents to drool over. And it is. But to be honest, it offers much more below the surface. Written by the same two women who brought us Legally Blonde, The House Bunny is a comedy that shows that it is certainly what’s inside that matters and everyone has something good to offer. Add the zany comedic talent of Anna Faris to the mix and what you have is a laugh out loud movie that pokes fun with out judging or demeaning. Call it a female revenge of the nerds if you like. I mean who doesn’t like it when the geeks win!

Shelley Darlingson (Anna Faris) is an orphan who has known no other life than that of a playboy bunny. She has lived at the mansion most of her life and when she is booted out on her 27th birthday she finds herself homeless with no job skills to speak of. She takes a job as house mother at the ZETA sorority; a small pledge group of brainy, unpopular girls. It is there they all learn a little something about themselves and each other. When the ZETA House is threatened to be closed down due to lack of new pledges, it is up to Shelley to help them find a way to keep their sorority alive and stay a step ahead of their snobbish sorority rivals.

Faris is hilarious and no one plays the dumb, naïve blonde better. She is willing to add screwball elements to her roles that most actresses could never pull off. She is part Will Ferrell, part Chevy Chase all with the charm of Reese Witherspoon. She takes the comedy moments to extreme and what should be considered stupid humor she makes work somehow. Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, and American Idol alum Katharine McPhee round out the nerdy ensemble and create some pretty funny characters. Colin Hanks plays one of the few male roles as Shelley’s love interest, Oliver. Hanks is following right in line with his father and is perfect as the average guy next door romantic.

The relationship between Oliver and Shelley is an interesting one in that it parallels nicely to the main lesson of the film. While Shelley is trying to teach the other girls to come out of their shells in order to become popular she is finding that not all guys, Oliver especially, are attracted to the flirty, ditzy, bunny types. So they all have to learn that it is what lies inside that matters and letting others see you for who you really are is what counts. It is that balance that makes for true personal attractiveness. Though the film does not demean the blonde bombshell, it does show how superficial that image really is. We are all geeks on some level and once we learn to accept that for who we are, we learn to love ourselves and each other a lot more.

The House Bunny is rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, partial nudity and brief strong language. It is tame compared to most teenage college films. Granted there are several scenes and references to the playboy mansion and that life style. The nudity is a brief female backside and in no way sexual in nature. I was impressed that the guy/girl encounters are completely innocent which was very refreshing for this genre. As a fan of Faris and taking into account the message this film offers I have to give The House Bunny a very positive 3.75 out of 5 cotton tails. Granted the humor is not for everyone and might seem sophomoric, but you can’t deny the message is a much needed one in today’s society. So hop on out and see it!

“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts a daily online talk show along with a weekend radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website”

Review copyright 2008 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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