The House Bunny Fred Wolf

The House Bunny Fred Wolf
It's hard to imagine an actress other than Anna Faris being capable of milking the premise of The House Bunny for enough laughs to make it worthwhile. Faris is fearless as Playmate-in-waiting Shelley, who gets booted out of her home at the Playboy mansion after her 27th birthday for being too old. Unaccustomed to life outside of perpetual pool parties, Shelley fumbles through a series of attempts at existing before stumbling upon Zeta Alpha Zeta, a sorority full of freaks and outcasts (aka a bunch of cute girls dressing down so that Shelley can come along and glam them up to change their lives). There isn't much more to the plot than that; it's stitched together and stretched out by all the rom-com/college comedy movie conventions you'd expect from lazy Hollywood writing. Colin Hanks plays the requisite love interest that doesn't fall for Shelley's initial brash skankiness and juvenile catfights are the fuel for most of the film's action. The original "where do playmates go after the Mansion" concept was directly out of Faris's head but was stretched into a feature-length script by the scribes responsible for Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You. Had Faris been allowed to run with the weirdness a bit more (repeating everyone's name in a Yoda/Demon voice as a memory device?), The House Bunny could have been flat-out funny. As it is, chuckles abound and Faris extracts a few solid belly laughs but fewer than the number of teen girl bellies she exposes in "transforming" her young charges from geeks to pseudo-sluts. Kat Denning, Dana Goodman and Emma Stone stand out as the more experienced and charming actors of the bunch, though singer Katherine McPhee does fine for a first-timer. The special features are slimmer than Faris's waistline (is it only cool when Christian Bale starves himself for a role?), with a handful of deleted scenes, an overly recycled series of "Featurettes" and a cheesy full-length music video. (Sony)