House Bunny is sexist drivel - but it could have been worse

PUBLISHED: 15:59 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:28 07 September 2010

The House Bunny (12A) Directed by Fred Wolf. Starring Anna Faris, Emma Stone, Colin Hanks, Kat Dennings, Katherine McPhee, Rumer Willis. 97 mins Three star ratinger produced comedy, about a former Bunny Girl who ends up running a University sorority house

The House Bunny (12A) Directed by Fred Wolf. Starring Anna Faris, Emma Stone, Colin Hanks, Kat Dennings, Katherine McPhee, Rumer Willis. 97 mins

Three star ratinger produced comedy, about a former Bunny Girl who ends up running a University sorority house, is fundamentally rubbish - but is rubbish written and performed to a standard rather higher than is normal in rubbish.

To be honest I enjoyed its simple dumb-people-saying-dumb things comedy formula much more than supposedly smarter character based comedies such as Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder or Foot Fist (the Danny McBride of Frankenstein trilogy as I like to think of them.)

The morning after her 27th birthday Shelley (Faris) receives a note from Hugh Hefner telling her she must leave the Playboy Mansion because she's too old - "27, that's like 59 in bunny years" and ends up sleeping in her car before turning up at an unpopular sorority which is threatened with expulsion from campus.

And there's the film's genius - it's Animal House with Bunny Girls. The twist here is that instead of being the wild, out of control house, the Zeta House girls are too timid and quiet to attract pledges.

To solve their problem Shelley introduces them to the delights of partying and walking around in diminished clothing. It's a perfect date movie - exposed flesh (though not nudity) for the boys but at heart it's a standard girlie makeover movie.

Most of the laughs are simply repetitions of Shelley's relentless positivism or stupidity but the scriptwriters have come up with a number of good lines that they are probably now kicking themselves for having wasted them on The House Bunny. On being told that perhaps she might be happier staying in a brothel, Shelley replies: "Oh no, I could never work with soup." Ah, you'd laugh if Stephen Fry said it on QI.

I never thought I'd ever write something positive about a star of the Scary Movie series but Anna Faris gets more mileage out of a modern day Marilyn Monroe act than would seem possible.

When we first meet them the Sorority girls are all dressed like a vision of militant feminism from a last century copy of Viz. That all they need to stop being unhappy is some make up and lessons on how to talk to boys may seem monumentally sexist but the film then adds a nice little message on the importance of substance and personality.

It's all very chaste and My Little Porny. Hef himself turns up for the cameo having contented himself that the film pushes the brand image that Playboy porn is all just pink fluffiness and entirely non-threatening.

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