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The OH In Ohio

Woe to the Orgasmically Challenged

Priscilla (Parker Posey) seemingly has it all. She’s got a great house in Cleveland, a loving husband, Jack (Paul Rudd), and all the trappings of external success. But, all is not well with Priscilla. Much to her chagrin (and her husband’s), she’s never had the big “O” despite ten plus years of engaging in the vertical mambo with her husband. Frustrated at his inability to provide his wife an orgasm, Jack seeks gratification elsewhere leaving Priscilla to embark on a journey of her own.

The OH In Ohio follows the respective sexual journeys of Priscilla and Jack. It’s often the case that sex is portrayed in mainstream film as something intensely dramatic, excessively erotic, or disturbingly dysfunctional. First time director Billy Kent treats sexuality in a fashion that is best characterized as blasé and irreverent. Sex is an important part of life, but no more important than going to the bathroom or eating.

It’s an interesting and often comical approach that Kent employs in following Priscilla’s journey away from frigidity. Parker Posey is perfectly cast as the uptight, highly strung Priscilla. Is it any wonder Priscilla has never experienced an orgasm when the idea of indulging in a little auto-eroticism makes her skin crawl? Concurrently, Posey manages to imbue what could have been an unlikable character with a warm, good natured personality that makes you root for her “climax”.

Matching Posey’s solid performance is Rudd’s turn as the sexually frustrated and career retarded Jack. He’s a wreck when we first meet him, unkempt, depressed, and hostile. His rust covered Volvo is a wonderful metaphor for the slowly decaying shell of a man Jack has become. Jack’s fruitless labors in a public high school classroom are mirrored in the bedroom with Priscilla. Rudd brings a dark natured sense of humor to his performance that plays well against Priscilla’s good natured, but uptight personality.

Contributing a small, but vital role is Danny Devito as “Wayne, the Pool Guy”. Wayne’s affinity for Priscilla is immediately apparent, but whether this is because he’s trying to sell her a pool or due to some other motive is initially unclear. Devito plays an unlikely, but ultimately believable romantic character in Wayne. It’s unfortunate that it’s been so long since we’ve seen Devito onscreen (Death to Smoochy?) because his talents are unarguable, even in a small role like this.

Billy Kent has assembled an admirable first effort with The OH in Ohio. Kent manages to marry a talented ensemble cast with a gift for comedy, an intriguing premise, and a unique portrayal of human sexuality in a relatively seamless and often hilarious fashion. Who knew an unfulfilling sex life could be so funny?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars