The Oh in Ohio

The Oh in Ohio

Film review by: Witney Seibold

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            It starts out kind of wry and kind of biting and kind of dirty, and slowly and adeptly turns its way into an enjoyable and modestly sweet romantic comedy. In other hands, this story of a woman’s dilemmas over sexual satisfaction (and lack thereof) could be a second-rate, immature, straight-to-video-quality smutfest along the lines of an American Pie sequel. The film does not exactly bring us the height in maturity (there is a scene in which our heroine has an orgasm in the middle of a staff meeting), but director Billy Kent chose such a wonderful cast, and placed such perfect music in the film, that we come out on the other side smiling.

 

            Priscilla (wonderful-as-usual Parker Posey, delirious, fun, demure, proving she can play a lead), a high-ranking businesswoman, is frigid. Her high-school teacher husband Jack (Paul Rudd, also great) is immensely frustrated at his inability to please her. Their relationship grows more and more awkward as the film progresses. Priscilla even tries one of those “vagina workshops” side-splittingly hosted by, of all people, Liza Minnelli. When Priscilla is finally able to “achieve” once she tries out a toy for the first time (and second, and eighth and 100th times), Jack is appalled, moves out, and begins having an affair with one of his eighteen-year-old students (Mischa Barton). He is elated. Priscilla cannot seem to find a new partner able to please her, trying multiple hunks and even lithe babe Heather Graham (!), until she hooks up with slightly sleazy pool man Wayne (Danny DeVito). But then Jack might want her back. A love triangle ensues.

 

            Like I said, it starts out raunchy, peppered with plenty of vibrator jokes (this is not necessarily a bad thing; a good vibrator joke is as good as anything), but when we see our characters achieve happiness, we actually smile, and don’t roll our eyes at the Hollywood ending. It’s not exactly a grand feminist treatise on the power of the female orgasm. It’s just a perfectly enjoyable romantic comedy. Its success largely hinges on the casting. DeVito plays his earnest free-spirit perfectly, and Posey, some kind of talented combination of Carol Burnett and Catherine Keener, can handle broad comedy as ably as sweet romance.

 -July 14th, Cyan Pictures

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Published in: on August 28, 2007 at 8:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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