The OH in Ohio

By  · Published on August 26th, 2006

Release Date: July 14, 2006

There is something that is just unsettling about the thought of Danny DeVito in any state of undress. It becomes a completely more uncomfortable situation when you know that you will be seeing Danny DeVito half naked in a movie. I don’t mean any disrespect for Mr. DeVito, as he is a great actor, but he is probably one of the actors in Hollywood whose nude figure I can do without. Thankfully even though he gets a little frisky and ends up in a state of undress in the film The OH in Ohio, it didn’t spoil my appetite for the rest of the film.

What is so earthshaking that it would cause DeVito, playing Cleveland’s celebrity pool guy Wayne, to disrobe and transform into Rico Suave? The answer is a frigid, sexually numb woman named Priscilla, played by the lovely Parker Posey. You see, Priscilla’s 10 year marriage to husband Jack (Paul Rudd) has been marred by the fact that she has been unable to reach the point of climax between the sheets, a fact that deteriorates her marriage and almost destroys Jack’s sense of manhood altogether. In an effort to save her marriage, Priscilla turns to a looney sex doctor (a very over-the-top Liza Minnelli) and discovers masturbation. Little does she know that she would soon become addicted to her vibrator, all but putting the final axe on her marriage. With their marriage seemingly caput, Priscilla and Jack attempt to move on and find their way, both sexually and spiritually. And by moving on, I mean that Priscilla meets happiness in the form of the very goofy Wayne, and public school teacher Jack slides between the sheets with an intelligent and budding young student, played by Mischa Barton.

While the film closely chronicles the tale of Priscilla’s sexual “dysfunction,” it is truly about Jack’s journey to find himself after 10 years of feeling like less of a man. Paul Rudd delivers a performance that is absolutely fantastic by any standard. He is cynical yet light-hearted as he walks his character through his journey. In the beginning of the film I viewed him as more of a selfish, undetermined figure (something that is all to familiar, especially set in my hometown of Cleveland); but as the film wears on, Jack’s cynicism and stubbornness gives way to a portrait of a man who begins to understand that there is more to life than sex, and more to sex than a great finish. The same can be said for Priscilla, whose journey is carried out by the very classy and effortlessly funny Parker Posey. Posey gives Priscilla all the right amounts of naivety and self consciousness in the beginning, then opens her up to the world of pleasure, teaching lessons along the same lines.

The film, which was scripted by Adam Wierzbianski and directed by newcomer Billy Kent, is both intelligent and funny as it addresses a topic that is more uncomfortable to many Americans than anything else, sex and orgasm. The film walks the line between uncomfortable and raunchy very well, and turns out to be a very naughty and enjoyable time at the movies. Parts of the film may seem to be a bit pretentious at times, but it gets us laughing about an otherwise taboo subject.

Clever, amusing and relatable, The OH in Ohio is this year’s guilty pleasure. My affection for Paul Rudd as an actor continues to swell as he delivers another fine performance, and Parker Posey had me laughing out loud. I would highly recommend seeing this film if you can handle some illicit chatter, and if you can stomach Danny DeVito with his shirt off.

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)