Review: The House Bunny (2008)

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The House Bunny (2008)

Directed by: Fred Wolf | 97 minutes | comedy | Actors: Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Hugh M. Hefner, Christopher McDonald, Beverly DAngelo, Katharine McPhee, Rumer Willis, Kiely Williams, Dana Goodman, Kimberly Makkouk, Monet Mazur, Tyson Ritter, Sarah Wright

‘The House Bunny’ is very similar to ‘Legally Blonde’ (2001) in several respects. The scripts for both films were written by the same duo. Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz, who were previously responsible for ‘She’s the Man’ (2006), ‘Ella Enchanted’ (2004) and ’10 Things I Hate about You’ (1999), once again present a stupid blonde who turns out to have a lot more to offer. Even the moral of the wafer-thin story bears great resemblance; everyone should above all be themselves and not pretend to be anything else.

After Reese Witherspoon in ‘Legally Blonde’ it is now Anna Faris’ turn to play a dumb blonde. She is best known for her portrayal of Cindy Campbell in the ‘Scary Movie’ films, but she has also gained stage experience and appeared in serious films such as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘Lost in Translation’. She doesn’t have to go deep for the role of Shelley Darlingson. Going back to her experience gained in the ‘Scary Movie’ films is sufficient. At first you would say you are dealing with a Goldie Hawn look-a-like who has stepped into the shoes of Cindy Campbell.

A lot of the jokes (for example the Marilyn Monroe scene) could come straight out of a Zucker Abraham Zucker production (the name of the sorority house Zeta Alfa Zeta is a reference to this trio); they are of the same level. This enhances the Cindy flashback feeling that arises in the viewer. It seems that Anna Faris does not bother to give a different interpretation to her character.

Besides ‘Legally Blonde’ the film shows similarities with ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ (1984). Also in Revenge of the Nerds, a dorm is threatened with closure if not enough new members join. Since in ‘The House Bunny’ it is female nerds who are not popular, the story is told from that point of view. The students take the usual actions to prevent destruction. ‘The House Bunny’ is not original, but it is an entertaining comedy, which does not amount to much.

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