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Rental Unit: "The Oh in Ohio"

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The "oh" referenced in "The Oh in Ohio" is more offbeat than amnesia or multiple personality syndrome, I'll give these filmmakers that. But it's a device like any other, and like any other, you'll have to make some kind of compromise with your sense of disbelief in order to accept it.

The "oh" in question isn't actually anywhere. It's missing, in this case from the sex life of Priscilla (Parker Posey), an otherwise perky, astute businesswoman with a successful career and a workable marriage. Her only deficiency is that she can't have an orgasm. She never has. "Never? Ever?" people ask. Never. Ever. OK, so what?

"Ohio" is inoffensively entertaining, with amusing characters, but it can't quite grasp whatever it's reaching for. Priscilla and her husband, Jack (Paul Rudd), a one-time award-winning high-school teacher who's lost the fire, look for professional help, but it doesn't work. Jack finds solace in the arms of one of his students (Mischa Barton). Priscilla eventually overcomes her obstacles, first with the help of some battery-operated plastic, then from the service of a local pool man (Danny DeVito).

That's not the end of the movie, but that's it as far as character development goes. Posey is her usual funny, scene-saving self as a resolutely square young woman. And though Rudd is wearing out these types of roles, he's believable and engaging as a slumping 30-something slouching into a midlife crisis. (You can find him playing almost the same guy in the more challenging "The Shape of Things" from a few years back.) But unless there's a sequel, I won't be able to tell you where their characters might end up from here.

It's possible to enjoy "The Oh in Ohio," though doubtful anyone would feel the need to take it out again. It's fairly obvious the producers of this social comedy intended to shock, but you can find sexier fare on a home-improvement reality show. (R) **



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