"Being a centerfold is the highest and most prestigious honor there is," über-blond Shelley earnestly declares. "It says, 'I'm naked in the middle of a magazine. Unfold me!' "
Such is the glazed-eyed charm of "The House Bunny," which is factory made, nothing new ... and really funny.
The familiar plot finds a misfit sorority about to lose its house unless it can suddenly become popular. Enter Shelley, a sweetly vacant exile from the paradise called the Playboy Mansion, who is just spunky and sexy enough to solve everyone's problems.
The movie benefits from a crisp script by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith ("Legally Blonde," the underrated "She's the Man") and a strong supporting cast. But the big rabbit in the room is star Anna Faris, who, as the epically ditzy but good-hearted Shelley, delivers a flat-out hilarious farce performance.
With almost insanely open-hearted enthusiasm, Faris gets much mileage out of lines such as, "We must highlight your eyes — the eyes are the nipples of the face." If it takes intelligence to play dumb with charm and conviction, Faris is a MacArthur Fellow.
Sure, "The House Bunny" precisely adheres to the rally-the-losers schematic of too many other movies. Sure, its tacked-on female-empowerment message is as half-hearted as a cheesy valentine's card.
But it's also among the sunnier, funnier films of the year, thanks largely to the zest with which Faris embodies a mental vacuum.
See the trailer and find local showtimes for "The House Bunny."