THE HOUSE BUNNY (Sony, 2008) D: Fred Wolf, w/ Anna Faris, Emma Stone. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NN Rating: NNN
No mature, self-respecting movie reviewer could possibly recommend The House Bunny. The gags are underdeveloped, the direction is weak, the pacing pedestrian, and it delivers its simple be-yourself message with all the grace of a falling brick.
I liked it.
That's partly because I've been an Anna Faris fan since the Scary Movie franchise. She has a certain way of looking like she thinks she's thinking but is really just listening to the breeze between her ears. It gets me every time. Here, she's a homeless Playboy Bunny who stumbles into a job as house mother to a failing sorority, which she attempts to revive by giving its misfits a big-hair makeover and Flirting 101 skills. Her tricks work until she tries to attract a nice boy (Colin Hanks). Cue the romantic subplot.
I also liked it because it's a female take on an essentially male genre: the fratboy comedy. Structurally, it's the same old premise and development, but this one takes its self-improvement premise to its logical conclusion and has a different take on comedy and character: no gross-out gags, sweaty horndogs or computer geeks.
The young cast has a ball playing against stereotype, especially Kat Dennings and Dana Goodman as a hostile punk and a lumbering farm girl. Neither has enough to do, but they do it well.
Like the movie, the extras are very funny now and then and fairly slapdash.
EXTRAS Making-of doc, on-set visitors doc, deleted scenes, more. Widescreen. English, French audio and subtitles.