Monday, June 26, 2017 This Week's Paper

‘Losing Control’ Offers a Unique Quirky Look into the Science of Love

How do you know if your significant other is “the one?” Some people may be satisfied with the typical “when you know, you know,” but others need more proof – much more proof.

In Valerie Weiss’ “Losing Control,” lead character Samantha (Miranda Kent) sets out to find just that – solid, rock-hard evidence that her would-be fiancé Ben (Reid Scott) is the perfect match for her.

In this original romantic comedy, the quirky – but surprisingly relatable – Samantha is a scientist at Harvard working on what could be a groundbreaking experiment. Always searching for perfection and truth, she refuses to accept Ben’s proposal until she has all the facts at her disposal.

With a colorful supporting cast and well-developed characters – along with a stellar soundtrack – the film’s subplots and chaos keep a solid pace throughout the film.

Weiss’ believable script allows the audience to truly relate to Kent’s stubborn, neurotic Samantha. For Weiss, creating an accurate depiction of the academic science world was her primary goal. The film draws on her own experiences as a PhD student at Harvard Medical School while also serving as Filmmaker-in-Residence.

“I was fully immersed in the academic science world, and it was such an interesting, quirky, untapped world, which is why I wanted to make this movie,” Weiss said. “There are so many funny aspects of that culture that most people wouldn’t have access to, or wouldn’t believe if they saw it. So it was really important to me to give an accurate portrayal of this culture on-screen.”

Although Weiss started acting at a young age, she developed a love for science after taking her first biology class in high school. She put acting on the backburner in college, and decided to major in biology with a minor in theater at Princeton. “I thought I had found something that I loved, which could also be a more reliable profession,” Weiss said.

But, when she took up directing for the first time, she found many similarities between that and the science world. “It’s the director’s job to ask the question ‘why’ and figure out how scenes work,” she said. “It’s the same sort of process of discovery that a scientist goes through. If something doesn’t work in a scene, we change the variable and try again.”

Weiss takes a very scientific approach to the script-writing process, as well. “I look at my writing as I would an experiment,” Weiss said. “I gather all the information and, once I have my hypothesis, I’ll start writing. I won’t even begin until I’ve exhausted all the possibilities.”

The process clearly works, and created a wildly entertaining, hilarious comedy with a unique look into the undiscovered world of academic science. Watch out for the film’s theatrical release in early 2012 but catch a screening of “Losing Control” at the Grand Cinema Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. during the Tacoma Film Festival. Weiss will be in attendance for the screening, which will play with the 16-minute short “The Secret Friend.” For more information or to purchase tickets, visit The Grand Cinema is located at 606 S. Fawcett Ave.