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HBO presents
The OH in Ohio (2006)

"We incorporate a lot of...technology in our marital relations."
- Coach Popovich (Keith David)

Review By: Ross Johnson   
Published: January 07, 2007

Stars: Parker Posey, Paul Rudd, Danny DeVito
Other Stars: Mischa Barton, Miranda Bailey, Heather Graham, Keith David
Director: Billy Kent

MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, and some drug use
Run Time: 01h:28m:00s
Release Date: December 05, 2006
UPC: 026359359927
Genre: action


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B BA-B+ C+

DVD Review

Somewhere out there, there's a brilliant starring vehicle for Parker Posey. Despite dozens of film roles over at least the past decade, I think she's still hardly a household name, and that's just not fair. There are few more interesting actresses working today, and there's a film out there just waiting to catapult her into the big leagues of salary and recognition. Is The OH in Ohio that film? Well, no. But it isn't without its charms.

It starts out with a lot of energy. Priscilla Chase (Posey) is the "girl who has it all," (sound familiar, romantic comedy fans? Smell disaster looming?) and the manic lengths to which she goes to coordinate her amazing job, perfect husband, and great house are a hoot to watch. It's a character that Posey has played before: the corporate ice queen with the barely concealed fire just under the surface. She plays it to perfection. There's something intrinsically contradictory about Posey as an actress: at first glance she looks like she might be a vapid beauty queen, but her eyes betray a great deal more going on. Her power lies in her ability to play on that contrast, even if she doesn't always wind up in the greatest roles.

So, of course, there's a hitch to Priscilla's perfect life: things aren't great in the sex department. In fact, they're downright awful. Priscilla's can live with that, but her insecure husband Jack (Paul Rudd) isn't sure whether it's that he's inadequate or that she's frigid. When Paul can't take it anymore, Priscilla begins a light R-rated quest to get her sexual groove back. (Despite the suggestive subject matter and dialogue, things remain fairly tame throughout.) It's a premise with potential, especially in Parker Posey's more than capable hands. Before long, unfortunately, the narrative divides its time between Paul and Priscilla, and things lose steam quickly. When Paul Rudd's character takes center stage in the movie's midsection, The OH In Ohio becomes a bit of a slog. Rudd's a great actor, and he does his best with the material, but Priscilla's husband is neither very interesting nor particularly sympathetic. The drudgery of his midlife crisis contrasts too strongly with Priscilla's naïve energy as she discovers how to—ahem—love herself. With a little help from Heather Graham. And Liza Minelli. And that's all I'm sayin'.

Things brighten up considerably in the final act: Priscilla meets Wayne the Pool Guy, star of a local television commercial that she's enjoyed since she was a kid. Danny DeVito, who has made a career playing characters with enormous egos, is here a delicate soul, and it's a brave performance. Not many men could pull off love (and bathing suit) scenes with a beauty like Posey so unselfconsciously. It may be fantasy to try to throw the two of them together, but the actors have enough easy chemistry to make it not only plausible, but worth rooting for. Their scenes together bring the movie to life, even if it happens much too late in the game.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio16:9 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The transfer is bright (mostly) and very crisp. While the colors seem to get a bit mushy at times, there aren't any obvious artifacting issues or other transfer problems. Nice and clean.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The DVD includes a Dolby 2.0 track as the only audio format. It's a clean mix with distinct dialogue and music. Not flashy by any means, but it works.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 19 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
7 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: There are seven deleted scenes, all rough, including alternate titles and an alternate ending. They're mostly quick, but wouldn't have added much to the film.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Charming in spots, deadly dull in others. Watch for the chemistry between Danny DeVito and the highly underrated Parker Posey, and for a refreshingly frank and mature riff on the sexual challenges that modern women might run up against. On the whole though, it's only about 2/3 of a good movie, so in spite of some solid performances and a nice presentation on this disc, it's a bit of a tough recommend.

 


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