Making the Grades
When it comes to home improvements, there's a big difference between spiffing up the place to make it look better and undergoing major renovations, especially if it is just to impress the neighbors. In The House Bunny, it seems the unfortunately average females at Zeta Alpha Zeta are in need of a complete overhaul in order to make them, not more confident in themselves, but socially acceptable to their peers. And who better to oversee these dramatic transformations than a Playboy Bunny.
All of her life Shelley Darlingson (Anna Faris) has been looking for a family. After being raised in an orphanage, she finally thinks she's found one at the Playboy Mansion. But when another beauty vying for the title of Miss November has Shelley kicked out of Hugh Hefner's estate, the blonde bombshell is forced to look for another place to live.
Luckily (or not) for the outcasts at Zeta Alpha Zeta, Shelley lands on their doorstep with a proposal. Offering to be the sorority's new housemother, she agrees to help the seven losers round up enough new pledges to keep their standing on campus. Walking naked through the house after a shower (audience members see only buttock nudity), Shelley also realizes that, unlike her former roommates, these girls are uncommonly uncomfortable with their own bodies. In addition to the pledge plan, she also decides to perk up the girls' popularity quotient by giving them each a sexy (look for this word a lot in the script) makeover complete with new hairdos, water-filled bras and skimpy, cleavage-baring outfits.
While Shelley's itty-bitty clothes and shameless flirting impress the male co-eds on campus, her ditzy behavior and alluring come-ons don't go over well with the police officer (Dan Patrick) she gives an unsolicited sexual favor to or Oliver (Colin Hanks), the handsome manager of the Senior Citizens center. For the buxom but brainless playmate, it's a revealing realization.
What's enlightening to viewers is the fact that nearly every female in this film has to undergo a remodeling job in order to catch a guy. Whether it's showing more skin or getting more smarts, none of these characters are okay as is. The same, however, doesn't apply to the men.
Other parental concerns may include the use of a sexual expletive, repeated vulgarities and crass sexual humor. Shelley's attempt to recreate Marilyn Monroe's steamy manhole cover pose also results in severe leg burns. As well, nasty exchanges between characters involve bullying, inflicting physical pain and humiliation.
Although these sorority sisters eventually manage to balance Shelley's suggestions to "skimpify" their attire with their own individual comfort levels, the suggestion still remains that a D-cup is better than an A-grade when it comes to the film's implied priority of catching a man.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The House Bunny.
What things are the different characters in this film hiding behind in order to maintain their comfort level? What fears do they learn to overcome?
How would this film play differently if all the gender roles were reversed? (How likely would it be to have an 80-year-old woman in bed with a bevy of muscular young men? What changes would the males have to undergo to impress the females?
What role do sororities and fraternities play in college life? Find out here: http://people.howstuffworks.com/sorority.htm.