The House Bunny This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 2, 2009
My limited experience with Happy Madison, Adam Sandler’s production company, has not been pleasant. For ­example, “Click,” with its ­juvenile humor and manipulative plot, tops my list of worst films of all time. So when my friends dragged me to Happy Madison’s latest feature, “The House Bunny,” my instincts told me to bail.

I should have listened to my instincts.

“The House Bunny” follows Shelley (Anna Faris), a Playboy Bunny who has just been kicked out of the mansion. In search of a new home, she finds a pair of college sororities: ­Zeta, a small group of unattractive misfits looking for enough pledges to keep their house; and Phi Iota Mu, a large, pop­ular sorority whose house mother and leader seek to destroy Zeta because its members are … unattractive misfits.

After she is rejected by Phi Iota Mu, Shelley agrees to help the Zeta girls become more ­attractive and popular so they can gain pledges. By the end of the movie, Shelley and the girls learn that appearances aren’t everything and you should be who you are.

Where do I begin?

First, let’s examine the main problem with the plot: the antagonists. In order for a story to be plausible or intriguing, both the protagonist and antagonist must have a reasonable motivation. Here the protagonists’ ­motivation makes sense, but it’s not clear why the members of Phi Iota Mu want to demolish Zeta. Sure, they might not look like … well, like Playboy Bunnies, but that makes them less threatening. Phi Iota Mu has nothing to gain from Zeta’s downfall and nothing to lose from its uprising, so how are we supposed to believe these characters?

The most insulting aspect of the film is its message. Besides being cliched, it’s hypocritical; the film exploits the heck out of the same chauvinist views it condemns. By the time Shelley proclaims that appearances don’t matter, dozens of impossibly “attractive” characters and walk-ons have already pranced around in skimpy outfits onscreen for 90 minutes. In addition, the only characters who don’t look like Playboy Bunnies are automatically typecast as hideous wildebeest until Shelley makes them over to look like every other plastic runway model in the movie.

I kept asking myself, “Is there anyone in this movie who looks normal?” The attempt at a message almost seemed more like an excuse for the filmmakers to say, “We didn’t just make a piece of superficial garbage filled with unrealistic swimsuit models! We think brains and personality are important too!” Don’t believe it for a second.

Now, you may be thinking, This is a comedy. It’s just supposed to be funny! And you’re right – but this movie isn’t funny. All the jokes were written only to confirm either that Shelley is as vain and stupid as Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson combined (imagine an entire movie of “I don’t eat buffalo” jokes), or that the girls of Zeta are hideous and unpopular. Believe me when I say that these jokes are not funny. Clichéd? Sure. Superficial? Definitely. Stereotypical? You bet. But not funny.

Happy Madison pictures just keep getting worse and worse. You definitely won’t see me at the next one.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 29 comments. Post your own now!

Supernova7 said...
Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I think you missed a few points in the movie that weakened your arguement.

The first was the issue about the antagonists. The reason the wanted to get rid of the Zeta's was because they wanted their house.

The second was the message behind the movie. The point wasn't really about being pretty or ugly, it was about self-esteem.

You took a comedy too seriously because you wanted to insult the people making it and make it look bad.

SmileyPhoebe said...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 6:40 am
I think you're reading too deep into this film. It is what it is - a cheesy little comedy film made for women to watch on girly nights in. It's not supposed to be deep and meaningful!
blondie1 said...
Oct. 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm

well first of all i would like to say i agree with you that this movie is slightly in apropriate however i think that is does protray mamny good messages

I liked how you used your opinion

kyliiee. said...
Oct. 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm
when I first saw this movie I thought it wa a lil weird but I really liked it! it was funny ad interesting to be honest. (:
MissBookWorm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm
This is a fantastic review and I liked how you backed up your negative stance with good facts- it's hard to write an anti-review without sounding like a rant but kudos to you for succeeding!
mjwalker said...
Jun. 16, 2011 at 2:50 am
no point to the movie
zachy poo(: said...
May 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm
i disliked this movie with a passion!!!!!!
jaolwk said...
May 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm

this movie was horrible


dairishman said...
Nov. 10, 2010 at 9:10 am
anything with a playboy model is a good movie! :P
Nikki31NM said...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 9:54 am
This movie has a very important lesson at the end. When Shelley is kicked out by her friend I thought that Shelley's friend wasn't very nice and she deserved everything she had coming. This movie is funny.
cowboyclp said...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm
i have to disagree with you on your review.  I believe you are looking too far into what a movie is supposed to be like, aka being common and unindividual.  Everyone has a different idea of what is funny, and although you didn't enjoy the movie i believe it was funny, and that Adam Sandler's production company is pleasant, not only because their material is funny, but also because his company is successful.  If people didn't think he was funny, he wouldn't be as successful as he is.
starboy said...
May 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm
this movie is so funny i loved it
bokworm said...
May 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm
i desegree i loved this movie
xox-bixey-xox said...
Apr. 19, 2010 at 10:00 am
I find this film so funny! And it gives you a different look on the 'Playboy Bunnies' and tells you that not all of them are perfect (or clever). a proper L.O.L film! :) x
BasketballChick5 said...
Mar. 13, 2010 at 3:13 pm
I love this was so funny! Lol
Kristen H. said...
Aug. 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm
I think your review was absolutely spot on and to all the people who are defending this ridiculous excuse for wasting film and money- This movie was a lame attempt to attract perverts and the teenage crowd with its barbie-doll actors and skimpy outfits. Grow-up and go see a movie with actual depth and insight or at least a movie with original comedy like the Anchorman or something.
oppenheimlily said...
Aug. 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm
i agree with you! To me, this movie seemed like a bad improv that kids would in my musical theatre class. Great review, I think you really hit the nail on the head with this movie!
jordie123 said...
Aug. 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm
i loved this was sooo funny
Valkyrie_123 said...
Jun. 24, 2009 at 6:20 am
this was a funny moive and i love the actress that played the house bunny girl cause she was in scary movie 4 and awesome review great work!!
misballet33 said...
Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:49 am
Hey I respect what you have to say, hey I have to admit you r totally right but seriously dude...its a CHICK FLICK how many chick flicks make sense, no offense, i love all chick flicks so seriously dude i agree with wat u say but this movie is just for no reason laughing not for like smartness..but great review anyways =]
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