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Through April 19: 'Losing Control'

The Grand Cinema

"LOSING CONTROL": Actress Miranda Kent plays a Bridget Jones-like scientist. Photo credit: PhD Productions

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Watching a good independent film at a festival is a bit like meeting The One, then losing his/her number - you may never run into each other again. But The Grand Cinema, our local cinematic Cupid, believes in second chances, and second screenings. So in case you missed Losing Control at the Tacoma Film Festival last October, or just want to rekindle your pleasure for writer-director Valerie Weiss's romantic comedy, her movie hits the theater again beginning this Friday the 13th for a limited rerun.

To the bubbly voice of Eleisha Eagle singing "When I Grow Up" we meet our doe-eyed heroine Samantha (Miranda Kent) through her past scientific accomplishments, plotted out on graph paper in meticulous detail. She has her entire future organized like a Facebook Timeline, but the present keeps getting in the way. Her experiment with "Y-Kill," a substance that destroys sperm carrying genetic disease, refuses to work, making it impossible to graduate from Harvard. And now Sam's supportive boyfriend Ben (Reid Scott) pops the question earlier than her flow chart will allow (not THAT kind of flow, sicko).

Encouraged by her friend Leslie (Kathleen Robertson), who harbors a few of her own insecurity/commitment issues, Sam puts Ben's reliability as Mr. Right to the test by experiencing "a lot of Mr. Wrongs." Her comical journey includes encounters with yuppies who love the word "douche," polyamorists, and tantric sex instructors.

She eventually confronts her doppelgänger in Maurizio (Theo Alexander), a suave artist as self-absorbed in his bizarre exhibitions as Sam with her experiments. Control creator Weiss, who has her own PhD but now makes movies, shows art and science as two sides of the same coin - taken to their extremes, both can turn into obsessions that disrupt a person's relationships.

Find a middle ground, the film seems to tell me. So I will, and this review is as good a place to start as any. As a rom-com, Losing Control could have used more of each ingredient (especially the latter); yet with solid performances from everyone in the cast and a lively script, the formula for making this a movie worth watching balances itself out. (Not Rated)


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