The House Bunny review

From Playboy mansion to college campus...

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

A candy-crusted wish-fulfillment fantasy for underachieving bottle-blondes, celebrity skin enthusiasts and dudes who wish their grungy girlfriends would just wear some make-up for once, The House Bunny tells the frothy tale of Shelley (Anna Faris), a relentlessly sunny Playboy model sabotaged by a rival top-doffer on her 27th birthday.

Unfairly ousted from Hugh Hefner’s mansion, she blunders her way into a new and highly unlikely career as a house mother at Zeta Alpha Zeta, a disastrous sorority house full of freaks and geeks, including Superbad’s whiskey-voiced Emma Stone, American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee (with a ready-to-pop prop-preggers belly) and Rumer ‘spawn-of-Bruce-and-Demi’ Willis as a back brace-wearing wallflower.

Unless Zeta’s wildly unpopular gang of frumpy nerd-girls can come up with a plan to recruit 15 new members by film’s end, its creaky doors will shut forever. And so, in time-weathered chick-flick fashion, our Wonderbra-wielding heroine proceeds to give the girls, their house, and even their snotty arch-rivals the makeovers they all deserve.

That is, when she’s not falling head over heels (quite literally, in several riotous, Lucille Ball-ish scenes) for chronic do-gooder Oliver (Colin Hanks) or quietly pondering life’s rich pageantry.

Directed by the stand-up comic-turned-moviemaker Fred Wolf, last seen bluffing his way through semi-improvised junkpile Strange Wilderness, and written by the pink-powered screenwriting team that brought you Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You and Ella Enchanted, The House Bunny’s central premise is as rickety and well-worn as Hef himself.

But Faris’ considerable comic talents and endless frilly outfits fluff this workaday cautionary tale into an easy-watch whirl of sweetness and light colours. Speckled with sugary sentiment and gormless gross-out gags, it’s not the star vehicle our leading lady truly deserves, but she gamely rides it for all it’s worth. Ken McIntyre Faris’ comic talents make this an easy-watch whirl of sweetness.

More info

Available platformsMovie
Less

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, New Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Jack Shepherd. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.