Review: The Oh In Ohio
Sitting down to a screening of the small indie The Oh In Ohio over this horribly humid weekend in New York, that familiar post-feminist refrain kept running through my head. You know the one, it even has an acronym. W.W.B.F.D? Or for the lay(wo)men not caught up in conflicting 21st century gender roles, What Would Betty Friedan Do? See, Oh is all about an uptight married woman (Parker Posey) whose husband (Paul Rudd) decides to leave after 10 years of marriage because he can never give his wife orgasms. She's frigid but happy, though this makes the manly yet sensitive hubby unhappy. A real man makes his wife come, and thus, the bearded high school biology teacher with the most beat-up Volvo ever committed to film, is no man. Our N.O.W.-ie sense is tingling from this plot, we just know it.
Maybe it would be better if I could turn off that analytical part of my brain and just enjoy this movie as it is—a moderately amusing comedy with mildly winning performances from a bunch of actors who deserve more, like Posey and Rudd. As for the bold faced supporting cast, (Mischa Barton, Danny Devito, and Heather Graham), we've seen them do better and we've seen them do worse. The only participant we'd give more props to than the rest would have to be the brief cameo by Liza Minnelli as a self-help guru, but only because she wears a sparkly pink caftan with "masturbation" emblazoned in glitter on the back. Now that look is one that takes balls. But frankly despite our best intentions to be entertained, our eye-rolling reflex at the lame plot points and lamer dialogue made it tough to keep an open mind.
Mostly this movie just made me sad. Don't girls in the Midwest read Our Bodies, Ourselves when they're 14? Are we still a nation filled with dysfunctional sexual relationships, despite all of the best intentions of our no-holds-barred, shock 'em honesty? Guess so. I hope the ghost of Betty Friedan doesn't attend small indie cinema, she'd not be pleased.