Australian Council on Children and the Media

House Bunny, The

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Not suitable under 13, Parental guidance to 15 (Sexual themes & references, Coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for House Bunny, The
  • a review of House Bunny, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 25 September 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to sexual themes and references and coarse language.
Children 13-15 Parental guidance recommended due to sexual themes and references and coarse language.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: House Bunny, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Infrequent coarse language and sexual references
Length 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Shelley Darlington (Anna Faris) enjoys her life as a Playboy Bunny until she gets kicked out of the Playboy mansion by a jealous rival. As a homeless person, she runs into a group of college girls and decides to move in and become their housemother. The girls belong to a sorority, Zeta Alpha Zeta, which is in danger of collapsing due to a lack of members. The girls are an odd bunch and quite naïve as far as boys are concerned. This is where Shelley’s expertise comes in and she teaches them all about fashion, make-up and how to attract the opposite sex.
In the meantime, Shelley meets Oliver, (Colin Hanks) but finds all her normal female wiles don’t work with him. This proves to be a learning curve for Shelley who discovers that some boys actually like girls for the person they are on the inside.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

The Playboy world

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, mostly done for comic effect, including:

  • a sign falls on Shelley’s head and knocks her over a hedge
  • a woman pinches a man’s nipples quite hard
  • some girls hit and push each other
  • Shelley falls over a table and bangs her head

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Apart from the violent scenes above there is nothing in this film likely to scare children

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Apart from the violent scenes above there is nothing in this film likely to scare children

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Apart from the violent scenes above there is nothing in this film likely to scare children

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

Frequent sexual references include:

  • Shelley misunderstands a policeman who wants her to blow into a breathalyser and thinks she has to do a ‘blow job’ on him. She ends up in gaol with a number of prostitutes, including one who is a transvestite. They think that she is a novice hooker.
  • Shelley talks to the girls about male fantasies and how to make ‘penis’ cookies
  • Shelley is shocked to discover that one of the girls is a virgin and determines to do something about it.
  • references to ‘dirty dancing”
  • song lyrics contain a number of sexual references
  • One of the young college women is pregnant and there are a number of references to this
  • The girls pose for a sexy sorority calendar and we see some of the photographic session and photos

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • a rear nude shot of Shelley
  • a lot of skimpy clothing and tiny bikinis, worn by Playboy bunnies, Shelley and others, including one young woman who is pregnant

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Alcohol drinking in the Playboy  mansion, in a club and at a party

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Oh my God
  • Bitches
  • Fucking (used once)

In a nutshell

The House Bunny is a comedy aimed at adolescents. Anna Faris plays the dumb blonde role very well.
The main messages from this movie are that although a sexy image and behaviour might help in the popularity stakes, it’s more important to be yourself and not to try to pretend to be something you are not.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as

  • the stereotyping of girls and women as sex objects
  • the life of Playboy bunnies
  • what boys really find attractive
  • whether boys are really intimidated by ‘smart girls’
  • whether girls need to dress and behave sexily to be popular

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