“The O Tapes,” an occasionally glib, often amusing and lightly informative look at female sexual satisfaction (and the lack thereof), is a diverting docu. While it doesn’t quite live up to its own Kinsey-esque billing, the pic’s subject, televisual style and frank language make it a natural for premium cable slots.
Noting a recent study claiming that 43% of U.S. adult females are experiencing some form of sexual dysfunction, “The O Tapes” relies mostly on interviews to probe related issues in fast, often funny fashion — from the question about orgasm to psychological hangups and the things most men don’t, but should, do.
At first, the slick package seems a bit contrived, in part because most interviewees (excepting various academics and doctors) seem so unrepresentative of the general population. A large proportion are actresses, dancers, make-up artists, adult film talents and other showbiz types, suggesting helmer Chris Arnold and company didn’t bother leaving Los Angeles County.
In thematic terms, however, the docu covers a lot of ground, however superficially. The speakers’ range of experiences, insights and preferences run an impressive (as well as sometimes jaw-droppingly rude)gamut. Like “The Vagina Monologues” minus its grimmer stretches, “O Tapes” has a sassy, confidential, letting-hair-down air that will delight many viewers, though their male dates might squirm. A lesbian couple participates, but emphasis here is primarily heterosexual.
Breaking up the parade of talking heads is a mostly welcome combination of campy archival clips, brief comedy skits (the opening Adam and Eve one is a keeper), simple animations, and so forth. Editing is zippy; tech package polished.