Trust the Man

We haven't seen two movies on the same day since the spring, when we went to the Newport Beach Film Festival, but we just couldn't make up our minds whether to see The Oh in Ohio or Trust the Man. Interestingly, both films deal with sex and infidelity, though where The Oh in ohio is more of a cute, fairy-tale-ish movie, Trust the Man is a bit more serious. Not to say that it's particularly heavy or anything--it's definitely got laughs. It's just that the relationship troubles in this one are given more weight. I think that's because Trust the Man is primarly concerned with relationships, whereas The Oh in Ohio was really just about an individual character. I was initially intrigued because the film pairs Maggie Gyllenhaal and Billy Crudup in one of the two couples that the film follows. (The other is played by Julianne Moore and David Duchovny.) I nearly always like Gyllenhaal so it's no surprise that I thought she did well in this film. I did think the role was a bit of a departure for her--I tend to think of her in roles that play up a liberated or driven aspect, whereas her character in this one was more nice, even a little naive. Crudup is an actor who I've come to respect enormously. I think it may be that you need to see him in multiple films to really appreciate his talent. He has a wide range but never "steals" a scene. Rather, every performance just works. It's pretty impressive. Anyway, I didn't really love the story but the performances were solid and the dialogue was good with some spots of excellent.

Viewed: 9/9/2006 | Released: 8/17/2006 | Score: B

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The Oh in Ohio

Juliette and I first heard about The Oh in Ohio at this year's Newport Beach Film Festival. For whatever reason, we didn't end up seeing it then even though we were both somewhat intrigued by its blurb in the program. The film centers around Parker Posey's character, Priscilla, a successful Cincinnati business development executive who has never had an orgasm. While the film doesn't cover any new ground in terms of comedy or personal discovery, I enjoyed it for being cute and perky. (Incidentally, that also describes Posey's performance pretty well.) A lot of the dialogue was kind of stilted, but it didn't really bother me much. In fact, it might have even made the film a little more endearing--it felt a little amateurish, but in a personal kind of way, if that makes any sense. The downside was that the same unpolished nature of the script made for a final product that lacked focus. There was a pretty large plotline that followed Paul Rudd--who played Priscilla's husband, Jack--out of the depression brought on by his perception of not being able to please his wife. It could have worked, but partially because the film doesn't set Jack up as a particularly sympathetic character and partially because Mischa Barton can't act, the whole thing just felt extraneous. Even so, I'm still glad I saw it--it's nice to take in lighthearted stuff now and then. Keeps you from getting too jaded.

Viewed: 9/9/2006 | Released: 3/29/2006 | Score: B

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