Finding family. Shelley Darlingson was raised in an orphanage, finally happy when she blossoms into a fox and moves into the Playboy Mansion. Unfortunately, she's summarily expelled on her 27th birthday(she's now too old). In desperation she takes a job as house mother for a sorority of misfits losing their house for lack of members. They have but a few months to find 30 pledges, or a sorority of mean girls will take over their place. Shelley figures that girls will pledge a house that boys find interesting, so she sets out to make the Zetas alluring, not act too smart, and host great parties. Can she succeed, and what about her own makeover? Sabotage is everywhere, plus it's hard to be one's self.Written by
The Zeta sorority in the movie is based on the co-ed Zeta fraternity (which was women only until recently), at Occidental College, from which co-Writer Kirsten Smith graduated. See more »
Lily was established as the one who never talks at the beginning of the movie. Yet after Shelley says she had lived in the Playboy mansion, Lily whispers something in Harmony's ear, presumably in her British accent, so why are the Zetas later surprised that she spoke and is British? See more »
I went with my mother and my nine-year-old niece to see "The House Bunny" in the early morning in a relatively empty theater where there were only women. Of course it won't be the most memorable movie I've seen, but for late August, it's not all that bad.
Comedienne Anna Faris is perfectly cast as a carefree, big-haired and hare-brained Playboy bunny who after celebrating her 27th birthday (that's 59 in bunny years) at the Playboy Mansion, where she has lived much of her life, gets kicked out of there by yours truly, Hugh Hefner. With nowhere to turn, she looks at a sorority house that seems to resemble her previous house, only not as big. There, she accepts the job of a house mother to seven social misfits who make up the sorority Zeta Alpha Zeta. They need 23 more pledges before they are totally ousted as a campus sorority by the beautiful but snooty Pi Alphu Mu sorority.
Do the clichés sound familiar? Yes, they do. It seems like the creators of this movie grew up on "Revenge of the Nerds," one of my all-time favorite movies and the granddaddy of all jocks vs. nerds and losers who become winner comedies. So they decided to make a "Nerds" comedy a generation later with a feminist perspective. Faris's character, appropriately named Shelly Darlingson, first takes on all the wallflowers and makes them like her with flashy clothes, heavy makeup, costume jewelry, and platform shoes. At first, it is successful and boys fall for them. Soon enough, they see Shelly as frivolous and teach her to have brains as well as beauty. This leads Shelly to a forced, clumsy conversation with the man of her dreams (Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks). At the end of the movie, everyone wins except for the Pi Alpha Mu sorority.
There is a fine cast. Anna Faris perks everything up in what could have been a total lamebrainer. Her appearance and high voice get laughs, but when she does a dead-on "Exorcist" voice by saying everyone's names in order to remember them, that is the real deal. Colin Hanks and fellow Hollywood Offspring Rumer Willis, daughter of Demi Moore (and looks a lot like her) and Bruce Willis, provide able support. Katharine McPhee, the American Idol Runner Up of 2006, is made first ugly, then beautiful, as one of the sorority members. Listen for an "Idol" reference in which Faris tells Hanks she listens to Paula and Randy and that Simon is mean. The rest of the cast is amiable as well. We tend to know more about Shelly and the misfit sorority than the snobby girls or the hunky boys. Small parts by Beverly D'Angelo as a snide veteran house mother and Christoper McDonald as the prissy dean are provided nicely as well.
Now I would not put this on a must see list, but it is okay for a lazy day. As they dump out leftover movies for the summer, I would rather see this than a truly terrible one I was made to see with a friend - "Stepbrothers," where Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly did nothing but scream their heads off and I was so exhausted the night before that I fell asleep and could barely stay awake. For "The House Bunny," I was awake the whole time through.
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