The Oh in Ohio

Opens at Harvard Exit, Fri., Aug. 18. Not rated. 91 minutes.

Everyone in this movie thinks Parker Posey is the hottest woman in Cleveland. They all envy Jack (Paul Rudd), the lucky guy married to her. What they don't know is that Priscilla has never had an orgasm; and even though Jack admits she's great in the sack, he's being driven to drink by the fact that there is no known way to satisfy her.

There's also a big career disparity between the two. Jack's a high-school biology teacher who fakes coughs to disguise the popping open of a brown-bagged beer can, while Priscilla's job is to woo big business to Cleveland. Her work might be a lot easier—and her marriage less in jeopardy—if she were to realize what may be the region's biggest selling point: that the age of consent in Ohio is only 16, which Jack's star pupil, Kristen (Mischa Barton), knows well.

So while Jack discovers surprising empathy between the thighs of a teenager, and eventually moves out (to the Manly Arms apartments, no less), Priscilla attends a class on vaginal appreciation—taught by Liza Minnelli—and soon becomes addicted to vibrators. Neither Jack nor Priscilla appears as bothered by the collapse of their marriage as one might expect.

First-time feature director Billy Kent seems proud that his movie deals with sex in such frank fashion. Everyone in his cast, however, appears to have a no- nudity clause, which doesn't help his story. He also portrays the student-teacher relationship between Jack and Kristen—entirely initiated by her as an act of sexual healing—as a boon to them both, though such things are generally frowned upon in real life and on Fox News.

Previously known for making commercials and MTV parodies of commercials, Kent presumably knows how to deliver eye candy on demand. But Ohio looks drab (it was shot entirely in Cleveland), and his characters aren't that much more colorful. Particularly uninspired is the psychological shorthand that has Rudd beating up the school vending machine on a regular basis, a device Over the Hedge handled better. LUKE Y. THOMPSON

 
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