The O Tapes

"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.

With:
With: Deborah Taj Anapole, Lonnie Barbach, Dixie Evans, Laura Berman, Jennifer Berman, Betty Dodson, Doe Gentry, Patti Groessl, Ruth McConnell, Lou Paget, Candida Royale, Beverly Whipple, Lara Vickman, Luke Weaver, Carissa Tadesco, Barbie Orr.

“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.

The O Tapes

Production: A RoseWorks and the O Tapes production. Produced by Chris Arnold, Jocelyn Scott. Executive producers, Paul Potter, Terry Davis. Directed by Chris Arnold.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Mira Ainbinder; editors, Skip Spiro, Arnold; music, Siren Music Prods.; production designer, Brian DeLapp; sound, Peter Rand; animation, Ed Anderson; graphics, Brian Yarnell; screenplay (skit sequences), Max Thompson, Arnold; assistant director, Alon Dori; casting, Taya Shapiro, Russell Alexander. Reviewed at Cinequest, San Jose, Calif., March 12, 2006. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: With: Deborah Taj Anapole, Lonnie Barbach, Dixie Evans, Laura Berman, Jennifer Berman, Betty Dodson, Doe Gentry, Patti Groessl, Ruth McConnell, Lou Paget, Candida Royale, Beverly Whipple, Lara Vickman, Luke Weaver, Carissa Tadesco, Barbie Orr.

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