August 21, 2008

The House Bunny

The Seven-Year Ditz

Grade: F

Director: Fred Wolf
Starring: Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Rumer Willis, Beverly D’Angelo, and Katharine McPhee
MPAA Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions,
The House Bunny is an Adam Sander movie without Adam Sandler. Lest you attempt to solve the Sphinxian riddle of whether that fact makes a film better or worse by watching this execrable mess,

Following the trails blazed by such feminist pioneers as Susan B. Anthony, Clare Booth Luce, Clara Barton, and Shirley Chisholm, Anna Faris stars as Shelley, a Playboy bunny who, after turning 27 years-old and getting booted out of Hef’s mansion, becomes house mother to a sorority of misfits on the verge of losing their charter. Following a script penned by the writers responsible for
Legally Blonde, Ella Enchanted, and She’s the Man (with the apparent help of a bunch of 4th graders), the girls battle the proverbial rich, snooty sorority, learn about boys (although one of them is already knocked-up), and capture the essence of cool by getting tarted-up and deflowered. They also get to sputter dialogue like, “I want to be your girlfriend more than an electron wants to attach to a proton.” Meanwhile, Shelley – who incessantly mispronounces “philanthropic” in one breath but then reels off “paleontological” the next – tries to woo leading man Colin Hanks (?!?) by donning an argyle sweater and yammering on about nuclear nonproliferation.

In casting characters whose partial function is to expose the phoniness of inherited social standing, it is a little ironic to select an
American Idol runner-up (Katharine McPhee) and the progeny of Hollywood power brokers (Hanks and Rumer Willis). Yet, that observation is not nearly the most stunning aspect about this epic waste of time. Within five minutes, you see the dreadful road the movie is heading down, and it never detours toward becoming even a mediocre parody that would at least intentionally invite you to laugh along.

A couple of boob-shots shy of Skin-a-max (or the direct-to-DVD bargain bin it deserves),
House Bunny sets the medium of cinema back decades. When the Taliban holds their next recruitment drive, this film will be their most valuable tool. When the apes finally rise up and seize control of the planet, this will play on a continuous loop in their museums to demonstrate the inferiority of the beast Man. And, anytime I forget where I put my car keys, I’m cursing this crud for bludgeoning my brain-cells.

Neil Morris

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