The House Bunny
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
You ever have one of those "I feel like watching something mindless that will make me laugh" days? That was what was going through my mind when I began watching The House Bunny. I just wanted a comedy that wasn't all that deep and would make me laugh. I got just what I wanted.
The House Bunny stars Anna Faris as Shelley Darlington, a Playboy Playmate whose time at the Playboy Mansion ends when she turns twenty-seven. The day after her birthday, Shelley awakens to find a note from Hugh Hefner telling her she has grown "old" and would need to move out. Left only with some clothes and the beat up station wagon she arrived with, Shelley is living in her car when she stumbles across some beautiful and fun women and follows them to their sorority house.
When the girls at Phi Iota Mu learn that she wants to apply for the job of house mother, they send Shelley on her way. It is then that Shelley comes across Zeta Alpha Zeta house, a rundown sorority home whose members are much less showy and average in the looks department. About to lose their charter due to lack of pledges, the members of the house are desperate and willing to take Shelley in if she can help to make the house more popular to pledges.
The girls of Zeta are brainy, socially backward and sometimes just downright off-putting, but Shelley promises to get them on track to becoming more popular with the boys at the college and thus, a more popular house to pledge to. Some of the girls aren't quite sure what to make of Shelley, but Nicole (Emma Stone) believes in her abilities after watching guys fall all over themselves to please her. All except for one - Oliver (Colin Hanks), an intelligent and caring man who works at a retirement home and wants more than just a pretty girl, much to Shelley's chagrin.
Can Shelley transform the girls of Zeta house and make their sorority the "IT" sorority to pledge to? Can the girls help Shelley understand what it is that Oliver is looking for in a woman? Did Hugh really think Shelley was too old to be a Playmate?
Through the first half hour of The House Bunny, I found myself questioning my choice in movies. What the hell was I thinking, this movie is really horrible. But after that first hour, the movie grew on me. Sure, there is a total mindless flare to it, but there is an important message to be had here - beauty isn't everything; be true to yourself; don't be afraid to show people you're smart; hiding in a closet won't get you acquainted with the world. Take your pick. But, quite honestly, the best part of this whole film was the soundtrack. Featuring songs like I Want Candy, Like A Virgin, Take A Bow, Shake It, New Soul, The Great Escape, Be OK, Girlfriend and more, the music of The House Bunny is awesome and a whole lot of fun.
Sure, there are some funny moments like the awkward social graces of girls like Nicole (Emma Stone), the multi-pierced tough girl Mona (Kat Dennings), the pregnant Harmony (Katharine McPhee), the back-brace wearing Joanne (Rumor Willis), the ultra-shy Lilly (Kiely Williams) and the hillbilly Carrie Mae (Dana Goodman). But the reality is that The House Girl is good for a laugh or two, but just sub-par when it comes to storyline and a big zilch in the originality department.