Thursday, October 09, 2008

THE HOUSE BUNNY: From Juvenile To Infantile

Cast: Anna Faris (pic), Colin Hanks, Rumer Willis, Katharine McPhee and Hugh Hefner
Director: Fred Wolf
Time: 98 mins

Rating: * *
(out of 4)

PREAMBLE: 'The House Bunny' is a movie that features magazine magnate Hugh Hefner, his Playboy Mansion and, of course, the buxom Bunnies. But wait! Before you get overly excited about these titillating 'attractions', just take a look at the movie's rating: PG-13!

This means that instead of lots of skin and bouncy boobs, all you get is a bunch of blonde jokes - and a real dumb script to match. Now, if you are still interested, read on...

THE SKINNY: Shelley (Anna Faris), a Bunny at the Playboy Mansion, dreams of becoming Miss November. However, one nasty bitch among Hef's beauties devices a plan to kick Shelley out of the Mansion. Homeless and brainless, she ends up on a college campus where she manages to persuade a group of sorority sisters (Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Katharine McPhee, Rumer Willis, Kiely Williams, Dana Goodman, Kimberly Makkouk) to take her in as House Mother. Facing the loss of their charter and house, the Zeta sisters are in dire need of a make-over and Shelley gets the role of Fairy Godma to these misfits.

THE CRITIQUE: For each of the three segments of the movie, the plotting, acting and dialogue seem to go from juvenile to plain infantile. In one scene, Shelley says to a waiter at a Hawaiian restaurant: "I'm not very hungry, so instead of Mahi-Mahi, can I have just one Mahi instead?"

For me, the chief attractions are the cast like Demi Moore and Bruce Willis' daughter, Rumer, who plays an awkward female version of Forrest Gump; and American Idol Katharine McPhee who provides a sight gag as a pregnant student, plus, of course, a song or two.
Faris seems to have improved on her perf since 'Scary Movie' and she provides a good combination of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in her Shelley. Looking at her, we know it takes brains to play someone so dumb.

THE VERDICT: Love it or hate it, dumb flicks like these are an American staple for the college kids who form the majority of cinema-goers.


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