Faris's over-the-top sexuality from The House Bunny
John Harkness once told me there was no such thing as a guilty pleasure. The pleasure was in the enjoyment; the guilt was in trying to justify it to others later. The point was that no justification was necessary; you should never to apologize for loving the things you love.
So this week, I'm writing about the marvel of watching Anna Faris in The House Bunny.
The House Bunny isn't exactly what one could call a good movie - as you'll find in my review - but it's a magnificent showcase for Faris. The fearless comic star of the Scary Movie movies and Smiley Face seizes upon her first real leading role with what can only be called gusto; it's wonderful to watch her take a simplistic reworking of Legally Blonde and turn it into a stage for her virtuosity.
Imagine a dynamic sex pixie with an unflappable sense of self who isn't afraid to play the jokes as broadly as physics will allow; that's Faris. If you saw her as the Tasered pop tart opposite Ryan Reynolds in Just Friends, you know she's willing to turn herself into a gibbering idiot for the sake of a gag ("Blueberry!"). You also know she can pull off those gags with a wild-eyed glee that's positively contagious.
Charges of exploitation will inevitably be thrown at The House Bunny, but everyone who leers at Faris is clearly an immature dick, and her character's essential sunniness lets the actress float serenely above the T&A pandering. She's in on her own joke.
Shelley the bunny is the character Reese Witherspoon would never have allowed Elle Woods to be - not enough dignity, not enough of an arc. Witherspoon uses her inner nobility as a kind of comic armour; Faris just carries it around like a clutch purse that can be checked at the door if it's getting in the way.
Guess who's funnier?