The House Bunny


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This film is about a castoff Playboy Bunny who helps the girls of the nerdy sorority to become popular. She takes over as their house mother, re-makes them, and the increased popularity of their sorority gains them enough pledges to retain their charter, despite the best efforts of the snobby sorority down the street. It was written by the same screenwriters as Legally Blonde and follows pretty much the same formula, with just a hint of Revenge of the Nerds mixed in. The film's strength is a note-perfect Goldie Hawn performance from Anna Faris, who managed to be both funny and completely credible as a Playmate, right down to the killer body in a PG-13 nude scene. (She doesn't have big breasts, but the director worked around that.) The film's weakness is that Anna's character is the only one developed at all. Her romance with the Colin Hanks character is half-baked and Hanks is given virtually no character to work with.  The girls in Anna's sorority had no real back story at all, and their pre-makeover characters are wildly exaggerated. The requisite evil schemer from the snobby sorority is a one-dimensional cartoon character. Meanwhile, back at Hef's place, the other evil schemer, the one who got Anna booted from the Playboy Mansion, seems to have been left almost entirely on the cutting room floor.

Irrespective of what I write here, your teen and pre-teen daughters will watch this film, as many other daughters did. The House Bunny grossed almost fifty million. I wish I could say that the message of the story was so redemptive as to make you pleased that your daughters are watching it, but that's not true. While the made-over girls did get a stern lecture when they turned into clones of the sorority brats who had scorned them earlier, that was a perfunctory effort, a complete throwaway in comparison to the film's overall notion that the way to make a girl's life richer is to glam up and act slutty. The difference between this film and the comparable youthploitation films about male nerds is that the male geeks never have to change their appearance or act like preppies to get their final redemption. Nobody recommends that they start working out or wearing nicer clothes or wearing contact lenses. The alleged losers end up triumphing while retaining their nerdy appearance, by using their humor and brains and innate moral superiority. On the other hand, the girls' version of this fairy tale requires the losers to look hot before anyone will even consider talking to them. I, for one, would like to see the female geeks get accepted for who they are, just as the males do, instead of having to act like superficial but attractive twits.

Bottom line: The House Bunny is not an unpleasant way to pass the time, but it's tweener entertainment by the numbers, and has an insidiously shallow point of view.

DVD Blu-Ray


1 James Berardinelli (of 4 stars)
55 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
40 (of 100)


5.7 IMDB summary (of 10)
B+ Yahoo Movies


Box Office Mojo. It did well for a late summer flick. It opened in the #2 slot, held its theater count for six weeks, and took in a pretty solid $48 million altogether. (Plus $21m foreign.)



  • Anna Faris shows a very shapely slim bottom beneath a dramatically small waistline. She looks great.


Our Grade:


Watchable niche picture, but only because of Faris.