REVIEW: THE HOUSE BUNNY

CAST

Anna Faris (Mom)
Emma Stone (Zombieland)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Katharine McPhee (Shark Night 3D)
Rumer Willis (Sorority Row)
Christopher McDonald (Fanboys)
Beverly D’Angelo (Mom)
Monet Mazur (Just Married)
Tyson Ritter (Parenthood)
Sarah Wright (21 & Over)
Matt Barr (Sleepy Hollow)
Nikki Deloach (longshot)
Jennifer Tisdale (Mr. Deeds)
Kathleen Gati (Arrow)
Allen Covert (Little Nicky)
Hugh Hefner (Hop)

Shelley Darlington (Anna Faris) is an aspiring Playboy Playmate living the life of luxury in the Playboy Mansion. The day after her twenty-seventh birthday, she awakes to find a note, seemingly from Hugh Hefner, asking her to pack up and leave. She happens to stumble upon a group of girls who remind her of herself: beautiful and fun. She follows them and sees that they live in luxury too. They turn out to be the Phi Iota Mu sorority, and snobbishly reject her when she tries to join them.
She makes her way down to the Zeta Alpha Zeta house, which appears to be far less luxurious than the first sorority she visited. The members of the Zeta house are dowdy, socially awkward, and caught off guard by Shelley’s bubbly nature, prompting them to initially reject her. Once they see Shelley’s ability to attract boys, the Zetas change their mind and take in Shelley as their new “house mother”, hoping that she can save them: their sorority is in danger of being shut down unless they can get thirty new pledges to join.
During her time spent with the Zetas, Shelley meets and becomes attracted to an intellectual, altruistic guy named Oliver (Colin Hanks), who works at a retirement home. Shelley goes out on a date with Oliver, and while her flirty tactics work with most guys, they fail with him, for he is a guy who actually wants to get to know Shelley rather than just sleep with her. To impress Oliver on their upcoming second date, Shelley starts attending classes and reading books, and tones down her appearance. The second date is also a disaster because she wears glasses that aren’t meant for her, and brings along note cards to help her sound smart.
Having gotten a makeover and lessons on how to attract guys and be popular, the Zetas throw a party, which is a huge success. Later, the Zetas are reviewing the girls who are hoping to pledge to Zeta, but their new popularity has made them conceited. When they realize what they’ve become, they blame Shelley—just as she returns from her unsuccessful date.
Although Shelley had just been invited back to the Playboy mansion (after Hefner had learned of the forged dismissal) and decided to stay with the Zetas, the unexpected attack from them makes her reconsider, and she calls back to accept the invitation. The Zetas then feel guilty, and decide to give themselves a second makeover, this time being “Half-Shelley and Half-Themselves”. They also decide to draw the pledges out at random, instead of judging them. They show up at Shelley’s photo shoot and ask for her to come back, to which she agrees, having changed her mind about her dream of being a centerfold.
The rival Phi Iota Mu sorority intercepts the invitations and prevents them from being mailed out, so the Zetas are again in danger of being shut down at the campus meeting of the Panhellenic Council. Shelley crashes the meeting and gives a heartfelt speech about what her experience with the Zetas has taught her about love and acceptance, and asks for pledges on the spot; gradually thirty students agree to pledge, and the sorority is saved. Oliver and Shelley reconcile, and Shelley explains that she likes Oliver a lot and was trying too hard to impress him. They decide to start over with their relationship and Oliver is looking forward to getting to know the “real” Shelley.
The film ends with Zetas and their new pledges celebrating. Shelley has remained in close contact with Mr. Hefner and her friends at the Playboy mansion.

Great laugh out loud comedy with a simple but fun storyline. The film is worth watching for Anna Faris alone.. It’s a silly feel good comedy worth the money.

REVIEW: GET OVER IT

 

 

CAST

Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man)
Ben Foster (The Punisher)
Melissa Sagemiller (Soul Survivors)
Sisqo (Snow Dogs)
Shane West (A Walk To Remember)
Colin Hanks (Roswell)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Mila Kunis (Ted)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Ed Begley Jr. (Veronica Mars)
Martin Short (Mars Attacks)
Carmen Electra (Scary Movie)
Vitiman C (Sabrina: TTW)
Coolio (Daredevil)
Christopher Jacot (Mutant X)
Megan Fahlenbock (Resident Evil: Apocalypse)
Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter)
Rukiya Bernard (Van Helsing)

MV5BMjExMjcwMzkxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMDExNDA3._V1_Berke Landers (Ben Foster) and his girlfriend Allison (Melissa Sagemiller) were the quintessential high-school couple who grew up together and eventually fell in love, but she breaks up with him immediately after the film begins. This leads to an opening musical number of “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Vitamin C, imagined by Berke. He seeks advice from his embarrassing parents Frank (Ed Begley Jr.) and Beverly Landers (Swoosie Kurtz), who are hosts of a relationship advice show called Love Matters, but they don’t help with the situation and constantly focus on his sex life and sexuality throughout the film. Allison then starts a relationship with Striker (Shane West), a ‘foreign’ student who was once the lead singer of a boy band called “The Swingtown Lads”. When Allison and Striker audition for the school’s upcoming musical, Berke desperately tries to win Allison back by also auditioning for the play, despite having no theatrical talent and having a busy schedule as a member of the basketball team. Meanwhile, Berke’s friends Felix (Colin Hanks) and Dennis (Sisqó) try to find a new girlfriend for him.With the help of Felix’s younger sister, Kelly (Kirsten Dunst), a talented songwriter and singer, Berke wins a minor role in the play, a modern musical version of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream called A Midsummer Night’s Rockin’ Eve, written and directed by the school’s domineering drama teacher, Dr. Desmond Oates (Martin Short). Striker plays Demetrius, Allison plays Hermia, Kelly plays Helena, and Lysander is to be played by the school’s star actor, Peter Wong (Christopher Jacot). But after Peter is injured in a freak accident, Striker nominates Berke to take over the role of Lysander, and, still intent on winning Allison back, Berke accepts. He gradually improves with continuing assistance from Kelly, but remains unaware of the growing attraction between the two of them. While searching through props backstage, Kelly accidentally shoots Berke in the arm with an arrow gun, thinking it’s a prop. Meanwhile, Oates blames Kelly’s singing for his own poorly written song and rejects her suggestions to improve it.Felix and Dennis set Berke up on a date with Dora (Kylie Bax) a very attractive but accident-prone woman. The date ends horribly when Dora inadvertently causes a fire in the restaurant. They try again by taking him to a strip club. However their attempts fail when Burke is locked into a harness and whipped by a dominatrix named Mistress Moira (Carmen Electra). The night ends with the club being raided by the police, Felix and Dennis abandoning Berke who is then picked up by his parents who, to Berke’s shock, congratulate him.Kirsten Dunst and Ben Foster in Get Over It (2001)At a party at Berke’s house, Kelly kisses Berke, but he insists that a relationship between them could not work because she is Felix’s sister. She leaves him, annoyed at his unwillingness to move on with his life, and Felix, coming across the two, punches Berke. At the same party, Berke and Allison catch Striker cheating on Allison with her best friend Maggie (Zoe Saldana), and so Allison breaks up with Striker. Meanwhile, Frank and Beverly return home to the party and once again congratulate Berke. Berke lampoons them for constantly embarrassing him and not acting like normal parents would to these types of situations. On the play’s opening night, the first half of the performance goes smoothly except for some onstage scuffling between Berke and Striker. During the intermission, Allison confides to Berke that she wants to get back together with him, leaving him with a difficult choice between her and Kelly. Meanwhile, Striker bribes two of the theater technicians to try and blow up Berke using stage pyrotechnics. Before the play resumes, Felix gives the orchestra sheet music for a love ballad written by Kelly to replace Oates’ unpopular tune.Kirsten Dunst in Get Over It (2001)After the curtain rises, Kelly sings her song so beautifully that Berke is reminded of their time together and finally realizes he loves her. As the fourth act begins, he abandons his lines from the script and makes up his own verse professing his character’s love for Kelly’s character Helena. The audience applauds as Berke and Kelly kiss. Striker protests this change, but unwittingly signals the technicians to set off the explosion, blowing him offstage. Felix saves Dora’s life and they become a couple. Dennis kisses Kelly’s friend and his dancing partner Basin (Mila Kunis), who kisses him back, suggesting that they also begin a relationship. Kelly and Berke leave the theater after the show, looking forward to their future together as they discuss the next night’s performance. The film ends with Sisqó and singer Vitamin C singing and dancing along with the cast to the song “September” as the credits roll.Kirsten Dunst and Mila Kunis in Get Over It (2001)
Although Get Over It! is not quite as saccharine sweet as others, there’s something a little more endearing about its different approach. Dunst is very good and stops the show when she sings “Dream of Me”; the songs and dances aren’t half bad and full of color and energy; Sagemiller is beautiful and very appealing. director O’Haver has a real flair for directing dance & music numbers.

REVIEW: BAD TEACHER: THE TV SERIES

Kristin Davis, Sara Gilbert, David Alan Grier, Ari Graynor, Ryan Hansen, and Sara Rodier in Bad Teacher (2014)

 

MAIN CAST

Ari Graynor (For a Good Time, Call…)
Sara Gilbert (The Big Bang Theory)
Ryan Hansen (2 Broke Girls)
Sara Rodler (The Future)
Kristin Davis (Atomic Train)
David Alan Grier (Jumanji)
Madison De La Garza (Desperate Housewives)
Grace Kaufman & Ari Graynor "Bad Teacher" CBS
NOTABLE / RECURRING GUEST CAST

Brett Gelman (30 Minutes or Less)
Colin Hanks (King Kong)
Yara Shahidi (Alex Cross)
Stuart Allan (Son of Batman)
Alison Miller (17 Again)
Virginia Williams (Fairly Legal)
Andrew Leeds (Bones)

CBS’ adaptation of Bad Teacher throws so many talented people at the question of how to turn the Cameron Diaz movie into a TV show that it will inevitably come to a point where it’s at least relatively good, if not excellent. The show’s cast is headed up by the reliably entertaining Ari Graynor, who shows a surprising talent for being an amusing reprobate here, but she’s ably backed up by the likes of Ryan Hansen, Kristin Davis, David Alan Grier, and secret weapon Sara Gilbert—who’s basically playing her character from The Big Bang Theory, but with better lines. And the series has been brought to television by the writer Hilary Winston, best known for her work on Community and Happy Endings.bad-teacher-premiere-ratingsOne of the secrets of TV comedy is that nine times out of 10, if you just get enough funny people together and let them work at it long enough, they’ll come up with a reliably entertaining and funny show In its first three episodes, however, Bad Teacher isn’t quite there. It comes close on enough occasions that it’s an enjoyable watch, but it’s struggling with the question all sitcoms built around awful people struggle with: How do you find a way to make a terrible person not just funny but somehow identifiable to the audience? For Bad Teacher to work, the audience has to, on some level, want Graynor’s Meredith Davis to succeed in her quest of tricking the school she teaches at into thinking she’s qualified for her job. But because Meredith is such a superficial, shallow, and self-obsessed person, the show’s core ends up feeling rotten, even as its many surfaces are often hugely entertaining.The key change from the film version of Bad Teacher is that the sitcom turns Meredith into a fraudster who fakes her credentials, taking a middle-school job so she can hit on the rich fathers of her students. Winston leans heavily on her Community experience here, and she’s letting Meredith play a page right out of the Jeff Winger-playbook, in that she thinks this is only a temporary thing and doesn’t want to get too attached to her fellow teachers or students. The difference, however, is that if Jeff doesn’t get with the program, he only hurts himself. If Meredith continues down her path, she’s ostensibly depriving her young charges of a valuable education. It’s a problem Bad Teacher has yet to solve in its first three episodes, despite Graynor’s considerable talents at delivering flippant dialogue with a hint of acid wit.The answer to this is so predictable that it ends up shooting the show in the foot. Meredith, inevitably, will learn in every episode that she really does care about her students or fellow employees, and she’ll use her considerable life experience and street smarts to help them navigate the tricky labyrinths of social situations, even if she’s not giving them the best education in social studies. It’s a formula that’s worked for so long that it’s become threadbare, and Bad Teacher seems so perfunctory in its approach to this particular story point that the episodes inevitably run out of gas in their third acts. They’re much more amusing in the early going, when Meredith is misbehaving and the other characters are being kooky. Inevitably, Bad Teacher will reach a point—just as Community did—where its protagonist isn’t looking for an escape route from her situation in every sports car that pulls up to the school, and it will almost certainly be a stronger show at that point.Despite the structural problems, there are considerable delights in each one of these episodes. All of them contain a handful of belly laughs, and the dialogue is sharp and pointed even when it’s not riotously funny. Graynor is a treat, and the supporting cast surrounding her—both teachers and students—finds new notes to play in familiar types. Gilbert and Hansen, in particular, offer up new spins on the socially maladjusted nerd the hot girl takes under her wing and the stand-up guy hiding in plain sight whom the heroine will inevitably end up with. The show benefits whenever they’re on screen, particularly when they’re sharing the screen together as a couple of unlikely oddball friends. Surrounding adult actors with kids is always a gamble, but Bad Teacher has a bunch of unexpectedly funny 11- and 12-year-old students to offer quips and occasional sight gags. Even better, Winston and her writers seem to be quickly figuring out exactly what sorts of gags all of their talented actors are best at delivering, which is a good sign for the show’s long-term health. Plus, any time it seems like the show is introducing something that will be drawn out for seasons to come, it’s just as quickly dispatched. That’s encouraging as well.bad-teacher-premiere-ratingsSadly Bad Teacher lasted 13 episodes and was pulled very quickly, had the series been given time to shine, I believe it would of been a huge hit.