The House Bunny

Starring Anna Faris, Emma Stone, and Colin Hanks.

If there’s one thing Anna Faris proves in The House Bunny, it’s that you can star in a film that’s got all the substance of a push-up bra and still demonstrate the blissfully inspired comedy chops of Lucille Ball crossed with Judy Holliday. That can’t be easy when you’re walking around a movie dressed as slut Barbie in hooker platforms.

Legally Blonde scribes Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith take that film’s formula—minus most of its clothing—first to the Playboy Mansion and then to a college sorority. At Hugh Hefner’s house (where the pyjama man does a good-humoured cameo), sweet airhead orphan Shelley Darlingson (Faris) hippity-hops with guests, bakes penis cookies with the other bunnies, and waits for her dream spread. But, turning 27 (that’s “59 in bunny years”), Shelley is suddenly pushed from the hutch to living in her car.

Teetering hoochie-style to a sorority house, Shelley offers herself as house mother to the Zeta Alpha Zetas, seven brainy, hopelessly unslutty misfits who will lose their home if they can’t boost their pledges to 30. Faster than you can say “superficially attractive and dumb equals popular” and also “to thine own self be true”—because this cheerfully flimsy entertainment is nothing if not a basket of mixed messages for young ladies—the girls are made bimbolicious.

But thanks to the goofy-funny instincts of Faris (Lost in Translation and the Scary Movie series), who pulls off wide-eyed deadpan one-liners like “the eyes are the nipples of the face” and pratfalls with the best of them, the film is not without some ebullient nitwit charm. And as the geeks (helped little by director Fred Wolf), Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, American Idol’s Katharine McPhee, and celeb-spawn Rumer Willis are rather endearing too. Likable Colin Hanks seems surprised to find himself playing a bunny’s love interest. We, like the geeks, are still trying to decide if it’s okay to be “60 percent” bimbo.