The Oh In Ohio

First-time feature filmmakers Billy Kent and Adam Wierzbianski's genial comedy about one woman's search for sexual satisfaction takes an unsmutty attitude but falls disappointing short of its ambition to be both sympathetically straightforward and funny. Priscilla Chase (Parker Posey), the "prettiest girl in Cleveland," has a hotshot job with the Cleveland...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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First-time feature filmmakers Billy Kent and Adam Wierzbianski's genial comedy about one woman's search for sexual satisfaction takes an unsmutty attitude but falls disappointing short of its ambition to be both sympathetically straightforward and funny. Priscilla Chase (Parker Posey), the "prettiest girl in Cleveland," has a hotshot job with the Cleveland business-development coalition, but her chronic inability to achieve orgasm — the "oh" of the title — has strained to the breaking point her 10-year marriage to high-school biology teacher Jack (Paul Rudd). Not so much because she's unhappy — she doesn't miss what she's never had — but because he feels unmanned. He's let himself go to seed, is cold and sarcastic to Priscilla, dismissive of his students at work and has even started sneaking sips of beer during class. The situation worsens after Priscilla gets a much-deserved promotion — Paul accuses her of frigidity and moves into the garage. Perfectionist Priscilla attacks the problem with her usual can-do determination: She confides in her uninhibited coworker (Miranda Bailey), goes to couples counseling with Jack, attends a seminar with a masturbation guru (Liza Minnelli, playing the hell out of her one-scene role) who exhorts her students to name their vaginas and value their vulvas, and pays a visit to a sex-toy shop, politely brushing off the attentions of the lesbian clerk (an uncredited Heather Graham) who patiently talks her through the purchase of her first vibrator. Jack, meanwhile, tackles the problem by having an affair with one of his students, sexy brainiac Kristen (Mischa Barton). Priscilla eventually finds what she's looking for in an unlikely place: The arms of Wayne the Pool Guy (Danny DeVito), a local entrepreneur whose cheesy TV commercials she's been watching since she was a child. That Priscilla's affair with Wayne isn't played for a cheap sight gag is only one of this movie's felicitous details, and Posey's Priscilla combines her trademark wound-up rigidity and the comic looseness that first pushed her to the forefront of up-and-comers in PARTY GIRL (1995). Had this small, good-natured farce been made before Sex and the City hauled liberating sluttiness and vibrator addiction into the realm of mainstream comedy, it would have seemed refreshingly daring. But in a post-Sex era, in which no aspect of bedroom malaise is sacred, it seems almost quaint.

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  • Released: 2006
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: First-time feature filmmakers Billy Kent and Adam Wierzbianski's genial comedy about one woman's search for sexual satisfaction takes an unsmutty attitude but falls disappointing short of its ambition to be both sympathetically straightforward and funny. P… (more)

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