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The House Bunny (2008)

I Know What Boys Like

For the girls of ZETA house college life was no party, until Shelley showed up.

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 97 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A


There’s nothing like a nerds vs. cool kids movie to put you in a good mood. The House Bunny is just that—a film that harkens way back to the olden days (read: “the 80s”) when all that happened at college revolved around parties and Greek life. There’s nothing mind-blowing here, no big twists or new ideas, but that’s where it succeeds.

Sweet Shelly Darlington (Anna Faris) grew up in an orphanage, where she wasn’t the most popular girl in the yard. One by one, all of her orphanage-mates are chosen to go live with happy families, except for poor Shelly. Then one day, Shelly’s life turns around when she is “adopted” by a very special family—the family at the Playboy Mansion. Living a happy, carefree life at the mansion, Shelly is devastated when, on her 27th birthday, she is abruptly tossed out on the street, too old to be a Bunny anymore. As luck would have it, just down the street, the Zeta sorority, a small group of misfit girls, is about to lose their charter and their house. Enter Shelly, their new house mother, who sets out to make over the girls and save their sorority.

It’s a cute movie. Everything about it is familiar—the clashes between cliques, the Beauty and the Geek transformations, the dumb but loveable (and kind of smart) blonde—but Faris is charming enough to pull it off. There’s no doubt, from the moment the movie starts, how it will end, but there are enough laughs to keep it entertaining. Next to the perky Shelly, uber-nerd Natalie (Emma Stone) is great as she waxes poetic about her fundraising ideas, or how fun it sounds to tie your shoes together and toss them over telephone lines, and for me, she was definitely a stand-out. Watching this movie, I felt like I was back in the world where Phoebe Cates might pop in or Sean Penn was still a stoned surfer—as an homage to 80s teen flicks, this had less sex and less booze, but was spot on at its “underdogs win” core. I admit it—The House Bunny won me over, and it’s a pleasantly mindless way to spend an evening.

It's Got: Anna Faris, a good heart, and some actual funny lines

It Needs: For a couple of the Zetas to tone down their stereotypes a tad

DVD Extras Deleted scenes; twelve featurettes; music video from Katharine McPhee DVD Extras Rating: 7/10


It’s a throwback to 80s sorority underdogs comedy, but it’s lighthearted and fun, and Anna Faris has some genuine comic chops.