Now that I am not falling asleep on my keyboard, I can write about the film that I saw last night.  I attended the 7p.m. showing of a film called Losing Control.  This showing at Staller was the film’s east coast premiere, and its director, Valerie Weiss, and star, Miranda Kent, were both in attendance.

I turned around to find that I was sitting two rows to the front of Weiss and Kent, which for some reason made me feel cool despite the fact that I was sitting alone because the friend who was going to come with me got stuck at a family gathering and could not come.

I have always had a soft spot for romantic comedies, no matter how predictable and cliché their endings, so I was happy when I did my research on the film and found out that it was of that genre.  I was happier when I found that not only would the film be cute and funny (whenever I use that phrase I feel like I’m describing a person…odd.), but it would not be weightless.  Despite its levity, weight is added in that its main character, Samantha, struggles with the idea that science and faith don’t always seem to coincide.

Samantha is a graduate student of Harvard University doing scientific research in an effort to finally graduate.  Her boyfriend of five years, Ben, proposes to her, and she tells him that she can’t say yes because she needs to prove that they are right for each other.  She wants empirical data to support the hypothesis that she should marry him, and she sets out on a journey to find it.  Sam tells Ben that she needs to see other people, and he tells her that if she needs to see other people after having been with him for five years, there is nothing to think about; he is not waiting around.  Ben is offered a fellowship to China and accepts it (after initially rejecting it in favor of staying with Sam).  Sam decides that she should have a series of one-night stands and grade each partner in each area that is important to her in a relationship.  She makes a data chart, which she carries with her to parties and fills out in front of men without shame, and is sure that this will help her to figure out whether or not she can do better than Ben.

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The idea behind the plot line may be cliché, but “cliché” does not always imply “bad.”  The hour and a half during which the audience had the opportunity to follow Sam on her ridiculous and eccentric journey to engagement to the love of her life is one which is fun and pleasant and simple and complex all at the same time.  Yes, the ending was predictable; yes, the part where Ben jumps on a plane to fly back to the United States after he realizes that someone has stolen Sam’s research and taken it to China, only to find that he has arrived just in time to save her, as the guy who had been stealing her research is about to kill her by forcing her to swallow a lethal chemical, is slightly unrealistic (and yes, that was a run-on sentence, but it was run-on for emphasis because that’s how crazy and chaotic the ending is — oooh, a metaphor); but I think that sometimes we need a movie like that.  I think that sometimes seeing a film is a method of escaping our own lives for a little while, and immersing ourselves in a world similar to but different from our own.  Sam’s world is thought-provoking and colored with vibrant characters, and it is the perfect place to escape to for a little while.  Also, Ben (Reid Scott) is cute.

After the showing of the film, Weiss and Kent took two seats on the stage to answer questions from the audience.  Weiss told the audience that her two young daughters, husband and mother were listening to the Q&A — she had them on speakerphone.

Not only is Weiss a director, but she is a writer and producer as well.  Oh, and she also happens to be a Harvard scientist with a PhD.  Weiss, who majored in molecular biology and minored in theater and dance, eventually chose to follow her passion in the filmmaking industry.

“It allowed me to ask lots of questions like science did, but there was no limit,” she said during the Q&A.

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According to Weiss, “there’s a wide range of truth and fiction” in the film.  Each character was based on a person, or multiple people, that Weiss encountered during her grad school years, and the science in the film is plausible.  Though the Y-Kill formula (aimed at preventing genetic diseases by killing y-chromosomes) invented by Sam is not a real formula, a formula with a similar function does exist.  There is a formula about to be patented, which is used to kill y-chromosomes in cows so that the mother cow will produce females instead of males in an effort to increase milk production, Weiss said.

The film was incredibly fun to watch and the perfect follow-up to the films of the two previous nights, which were heavy with depictions of the Holocaust and were not the most cheerful pictures of the world.

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