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The House Bunny 

Anna Faris makes this movie and totally owns her role.

Anna Faris owns the role of Shelley the Playboy Bunny in The House Bunny. She has a self-aware quality that never veers into smug irony and wears silly lingerie with aplomb. It's perfect for the role of a Playboy Bunny who magically becomes a house-mother to a sorority of geeky, shy sisters. Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde) are experts in writing stories of bosomy, blonde fishes-out-of-water. The House Bunny does not reach the heights of giddy/goofy satire of Legally Blonde but, like Reese Witherspoon in that film, The House Bunnyis buoyed by Faris' all-or-nothing performance in the lead role. Part of Blonde's charm is its insistence that Elle Woods should never sacrifice a hot-pink wardrobe and sunny disposition in her quest to be taken seriously at Harvard Law School, therefore, House Bunny's plot centering on an extended makeover sequence seems retrograde. The only way the Zeta girls can save their sisterhood is if they can increase their popularity by getting hot and increasing their proximity to boys. Sigh. Why couldn't House Bunny portray attractiveness as being in the eye of the beholder, and Zeta as being a different yet equal social refuge for like-minded and like-styled people, rather than one that is deformed in some way? Bunny gets a pass simply for the line, "My eyes weren't glazing, they were taking a break!"

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Vol 25, No 25
November 16, 2017

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