The Oh in Ohio

The Oh in Ohio

2006, NR, 88 min. Directed by Billy Kent. Starring Parker Posey, Paul Rudd, Mischa Barton, Danny DeVito, Miranda Bailey, Liza Minnelli, Keith David.

REVIEWED By Toddy Burton, Fri., Aug. 18, 2006

Sometimes it takes a movie to help us remember the sad and painful world in which we live. It's unfortunate, though, when that movie is intended to invoke rolling laughter but instead results in repeated sighs. While the impressive cast inspires a sense of hope, The Oh in Ohio's childish storytelling, paper-thin character development, and general unfunniness combine to make one bad movie. Posey plays Priscilla, an uptight corporate go-getter and wife to Rudd's sad-sack high school science teacher, Jack. The hook and obsession of the film is Priscilla's search for an orgasm (she's never had one). While the filmmakers are clearly attempting sexual farce for adults, the narrative development is so juvenile and the characters so unlikable that the attempt falls flat on its low-minded face. Needless to say, Priscilla's problem is presented as the singular root of her troubled marriage. Forget about the idea that this trouble might be the symptom of something else – that would require a sense of perspective. The couple argues; they seek counseling; they try, and fail, to generate that little thing called mutual pleasure. Without any sort of attempt at an ethical dilemma, Jack jumps into bed with his annoyingly feisty student (Barton) and rediscovers his manhood. But the plot really manages to travel into anemic realms as Posey's character goes on an obsessive quest for her climax. It's pretty painful to watch and ultimately feels a whole lot more like an episode of the Red Shoe Diaries than anything worthy of Posey or Rudd. Finally, DeVito, playing a widowed pool guy, introduces Posey to the joys of getting laid. And everyone's life is just grand! One of the many frustratingly shallow aspects of this frustratingly shallow film includes the conceit that sex solves all problems. Of course, the flimsiness could easily be forgiven if the movie were funny. It's not. A cast full of very talented actors goes completely wasted. DeVito and Posey have zero chemistry (big surprise), and Minnelli is just disturbing as a masturbation counselor. Ultimately, the awkward filmmaking and unfunny sex-equals-happiness theme combine to create a mind-numbingly bad filmgoing experience. Stay home and rent Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Were Afraid to Ask. Gene Wilder falling in love with a sheep. Now, that's a sex comedy.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Parker Posey Films
A gorgeous and resonant tale of two loners

Marjorie Baumgarten, Aug. 25, 2017

Café Society
A lesser Woody Allen film, but not without its pleasures

Marjorie Baumgarten, July 29, 2016

More by Toddy Burton
Birds of America
Birds of America
Alex Karpovsky tracks a once-extinct 'Woodpecker'

March 7, 2008

Big Time, Small Screen
Big Time, Small Screen
Local filmmaker Ya'Ke's 'The Second Coming' screens on HBO

Feb. 1, 2008


The Oh in Ohio, Billy Kent, Parker Posey, Paul Rudd, Mischa Barton, Danny DeVito, Miranda Bailey, Liza Minnelli, Keith David

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle