The Movie Buffer

Thursday, January 18, 2007

DVD Review: The Oh in Ohio


Forget it, Jake. It's spoiler-town.


When film about sex hit the mainstream, even in an indie pic like this, they tend to be overly sexualized co-ed romps or overly dramatic liaisons dangereuses. But The Oh in Ohio takes a more subtle and quirky look at sex and it’s role in relationships.

Jack Chase (Paul Rudd of The 40 Year Old Virgin) is a high school teacher, who is growing more frustrated, depressed and cynical every day. This is no midlife crisis - this is the culmination of years of inability to please his wife Priscilla (Parker Posey of Superman Returns) in bed. The school’s gym teacher/guidance councilor Coach Popovitch (Keith David of Dirty) notices the change in his attitude and tries to help the guy out with a few personal tips and tricks. Another witness of Jack’s descent into depression is one of his students, Kristen (Mischa Barton of The OC), who vows “fix” him. This plot line leads into a morally challenging avenue. While Jack is dealing with his “help”, Priscilla takes matters into her own hands and with a little help from Wayne, the pool guy (Danny DeVito of Deck The Halls). Through a series of life altering situations the pair of characters find what was missing in their relationship and realize that their “perfect” life wasn’t at all what they wanted.

This film is constructed in a very concise and quick paced manner. Each of the elements of the plot get a good amount of time to develop and the viewers get to connect to with the feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty that the characters have. Sophomore director, Billy Kent, also the co-writer, has made a nice film about an interesting topic that people have a hard time talking about.

Rudd plays his character with great enthusiasm and flair. His talent in comedy does not outshine is ability to slip into dramatic roles. His ability to be so flawed but also such a good everyman is outstanding.

Posey, who plays a career centered business woman, steps into her role entirely and shows us that she has evolved since her days in Dazed and Confused. She gives this very ordered but very quirky character some great personality. And even though she looks like a supermodel in most of her scenes, her character, like Rudd’s, is flawed, human and ultimately likeable.

The crew of secondary characters is also very strong with Keith David and Danny Devito. David, who is really a bit character designed for a few laughs, plays his part to perfection. He plays the “comic” to Rudd’s “straight man”. His often silly dialog add some nice touches to the comedy of the film. Devito plays the second male lead who teaches Posey a good lesson about life and loss. Though his character is rather sedate, his ability to liven the scene is amazing.

Barton plays the role of a young temptress with the poise of a young starlet. She doesn’t really do anything except dress up like a high school student, take off her clothes and talk about penises. Though her performance was sketchy, the character was a necessary addition to push Jack further into his realization that something was wrong with his relationship with his wife.

The conclusion of this movie leaves much to the imagination of the viewer in stark contrast to the style of the rest of the movie. Jack’s plot line is left dangling without mention and Priscilla’s plot is thickened with an ultimatum from Wayne. This was not a cohesive conclusion, and at eighty-eight minutes total run time, they could have wrapped things up if there was an extra five to ten minutes.

Though there is this hiccup at the end of the picture, the film remains a clever and humorous look at sex. The main characters are easy to relate to, human and funny. They all have problems and try as they might they can’t and don’t fix everything. It’s a laugh to watch and it gets a 7/10 or three stars out of five.


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