Saturday, October 11, 2008

THE HOUSE BUNNY - dazed and confused

Anna Faris is a very likeable and talented comedienne and it's great to see her get a truly starring role in the teen comedy THE HOUSE BUNNY. What a shame it is, then, to see her given such a weak and confused script. Worse still, because this movie is written by the team that brought us LEGALLY BLONDE. The LB movies managed to skillfully balance their love for seeing chicks in bikinis acting like ditzes with an empowerment message. But THE HOUSE BUNNY fails miserably.

The plot sees Elle, sorry, Shelley, tricked into leaving her idea of heaven - the Playboy Mansion. In her search for a feeling of community she becomes a Sorority Mother to the geekiest, most tragic girls on campus. She gives them an extreme makeover and before you know it, their sorority has become super-popular. Meanwhile, Shelley undergoes the reverse transformation, reading up so that she can impress do-gooding potential boyfriend Oliver. The final message of the film is very confused. On the one hand, you should act sexy because boys like to see skin and don't like brains. But then again, you should respect individuality and intellect. Sitting on the fence like that must've been really painful.

I think LEGALLY BLONDE worked because Elle was seeking acceptance on her own terms: she wasn't trying to convert the masses to her ditzy ways. Moreover, the supporting characters were all fairly normal. But in THE HOUSE BUNNY their is no anchor anywhere near reality. Most of the girls in the sorority are freaks - blunt piss-takes with no more subtelty than Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel. All of which makes this no better than a weak LB rip-off with a confused message, too few belly-laughs and amateurish direction.

THE HOUSE BUNNY was released earlier this year in the US, Canada and Australia. It is currently on release in Singapore, Venezuela, France, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Brazil, Iceland and the UK. It opens next week in Egypt and on October 29th in the Philippines. It opens in Finland and Sweden on November 28th and in Belgium, Argentina, the Netherlands and Spain on December 17th. It opens in Denmark on January 9th

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