Judge Eric Profancik puts the "hi" in Ohio.
One woman's story is about to climax.
True story: How do you pick a film? Which movies do you want to see? I gravitate towards certain titles (as we all do) but have the urge to wander out of my comfort zone on occasion. With this movie, I took a little walk. Why The OH in Ohio? Was it because it stars indie darling Parker Posey (who has broken her indie charm with such films as Superman Returns and Blade:Trinity)? Nope. Was it because it's all about female orgasms and I'm some weirdo perv? Definitely not. I picked this movie because it's set in Ohio. As a native Ohioan, there aren't many movies set in locales I recognize. It's a stretch of a reason, but sometimes you just have to go with the gut.
Did I mention it was also a somewhat dumb and lame story? No, but you already figured that out.
Facts of the Case
Priscilla Chase (Posey) is a successful woman who also has a pretty good life at home. She has a great job, great house, great friends, and a good husband, Jack (Paul Rudd, The 40 Year Old Virgin). There is a problem in that her husband has never given her an orgasm. In fact, Priscilla has never climaxed and it's finally begun to bother her. In truth, the lack of OH has bothered Jack for sometime too, who feels less of a man because he cannot get his wife off. He tries, tries very hard, but nothing works. This situation reaches a crescendo and the two decide to split.
Jack, a high school biology teacher, immediately finds himself hooking up with one of his students. It actually does him a world of good, making him feel more secure and manly—if not a bit sleazy as well.
Priscilla begins to hit the dating scene, hooking up with guy after guy, still to no avail. Then one day she decides to do something else she's never done before: buy a vibrator. Before you can say orgasm, Priscilla is addicted to her new toy, enjoying its immediate benefits a dozen times a day.
How long will Jack sleep with one of his students? How many batteries will Priscilla wear out? How will the future unfold for these two?
As it turns out, my choice of The OH in Ohio was a bit more fortuitous than I thought. Much to my delight, the film is set in Cleveland, with some of the movie actually filmed in the city. Who cares? I do, since I was born and raised in the suburbs of that fine metropolis. More so than Ohio, Cleveland gets less notice—and it deserves more for its fine transformation over the years. (It's certainly not the greatest cit out there, but it has its positives.) Priscilla's marketing shtick in the film is quite true, "It's no longer the 'mistake by the lake' but the 'roar by the shore.'"
The movie itself is but a wisp. It has some amusing moments, but the entirety of the plot is fluffy and negligible. I'd rate this as a step up from a Lifetime movie—though I've never seen one of those, I'm making a manly, intuitive proclamation. This is not to say that The OH in Ohio is a lousy film; on the contrary, it's a quick and breezy tale with some good acting, fine humor, and a handful of racy moments. I enjoyed it but can't see any reason to want to see it again.
It's difficult to expound on this movie's stronger points, for there's not much going on. There are no exceptional performances in the movie, yet the actors do respectable work in bringing their characters to life. Seeing Parker as an orgasm-addicted female is oddly disconcerting, yet fun to watch. My favorite performance comes from Keith David, who plays Jack's best friend, Coach. He's open, witty, and blunt, giving Jack good advice on his path to restoring his manhood. We need more Coach in the movie. Also worth mentioning are some extremely inspired cameos by Liza Minelli (whom I haven't seen since Arthur 2:On the Rocks), Heather Graham (who hasn't been this sexy since Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me), and Tim Russ (who isn't quite so inspired but did play Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager).
Without giving any of the jokes away, The OH in Ohio is chock full of chuckles. No guffaws or howls of laughter, but there are plenty of moments that are definitely funny and will keep you paying attention until…
This simple DVD mirrors the film with its average presentation. Featuring a 1.85:1 anamorphic video transfer, the movie won't wow or impress. Colors are accurate if not particularly vibrant, blacks are adequate if not especially rich, and details, contrast, and sharpness are fine. Audio is an acceptable Dolby Digital 2.0 mix that has no hiss or distortion, allowing the dialogue to come through cleanly. Sparing itself from the proclamation of being bare bones, the disc offer seven deleted/extended scenes (approximately 15 minutes) without a play all option. The alternate opening and closing scenes are interesting, but even this ending is odd (not detailed in case you're curious enough to rent this one).
The Rebuttal Witnesses
The main drawback to The OH in Ohio is the character of Jack. In typical Hollywood fashion, they forget to give us any reason to like him. What did Priscilla see in this guy to maintain their marriage for so long? Now, at the end, all we see are his bad traits, and we don't care that he goes his way. Making everything worse is his storyline where he's sleeping with one of his students—who's either 17 or 18, due to some vagaries of the story. If nothing else, that makes his a reprehensible character, for taking advantage of the advances of one of his students. You root against him as much as you root for Priscilla and her big OH.
Another weird twist is who Priscilla decides to date: Wayne the Pool Guy (Danny DeVito, Batman Returns). You'd think the wonderfully attractive Priscilla—called "the hottest woman in Cleveland" in the movie—wouldn't be paired with someone so short, dumpy, and old as Wayne. She deserves someone hotter. But I guess we're supposed to realize what a progressive woman she is, seeing the good man inside.
The OH in Ohio is a tacky, yet amusing, sexual romp. There's nothing particularly new or exciting in it, nor is there any exceptionally bad or dreadful. It's middle-of-the-road fare that wouldn't hurt you if you caught it on television one day. I'm not going to recommend either rental or purchase on this one—it's just too average. However, if you're a fan of Parker or have somehow seen this one already and found much to love in it—you won't get great bells and whistles, but there isn't anything horrible to prevent you from putting this in your collection.
The OH in Ohio is hereby found guilty of disturbing the peace.
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