- Movie Rating -

Losing Control (2012)

| March 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

Losing Control is one of those worn-out, cutesy-poo romantic comedies that comes off the assembly line of television sitcoms.  It doesn’t generate realistic characters, natural dialogue nor believable subject matter. It becomes so desperate for laughs that it provides its heroine with the task of going into a singles bar to find a man for the night while wearing a stupid-looking hat.  The hat, I’ll get to in a moment.

The heroine is a neurotic research scientist named Samantha (Miranda Kent) who is about to graduate from college but only needs to finish her work on a formula called “Y-Kill” which will kill the Y chromosomes in sperm. The theory is that doing this will prevent the transfer of diseases like muscular dystrophy in parents that contain that gene. Not long ago, she got the formula right but can’t seem to duplicate it. The movie never really gets to the holes in her formula which is that killing the Y chromosome would produce only little girls. What about parents wanting a little boy? Tough luck, I suppose

The movie alas, never gets to the theoretical nuts and bolts of her experiments. Instead it a lot of time on Samantha’s lame-brained experiments to see if she can find her perfect romantic match. The hole in THAT logic is that she already has the perfect guy, a good-looking chap named Ben who has been faithfully by her side for the past five years. It is only at the moment the has is proposing marriage that Samantha gets the idea that she needs to conduct her experiment to find the perfect guy. This involves seeing other men as controls, to prove to herself that her seemingly perfect boyfriend is the one. The obvious question is: Why hasn’t she figured this out in the five years that they have been together? This is a movie that operates on theory but never works its way down to logic.

Samantha spends a great deal of time talking to very odd men as part of her experiment, then records the results on a mating qualifications scorecard the resembles the one you use to get at the mini-golf course. The men don’t seem like anything out of real life, but out of some bizarre netherworld of funny accents and curious lifestyles. One guy seems nice but turns out to be a married polygamist. Another guy is a tantric sex instructor who’s theory of ejaculation leads to a sight gag that I could have done without. And yet another guy is of a foreign origin that I couldn’t place who has theories about relationships that wouldn’t pass muster in a bad erotic novel.

The supporting characters in Losing Control are all out of central casting. There’s Samantha’s slutty best friend Leslie; her panicky Jewish parents; her cold-blooded professor; none of which generate even the slightest bit of credibility or interest. They are set-ups for pratfalls, most of which fall of Samantha especially in a nauseating moment when she is leaning over the vat of her formula, drops her notebook into it and then falls in after it.

The dialogue in the movie never feels like anything out of real life. It is one of those movies where you feel as if the actors have been provided a joke book of cute little one-liners.

Now for the funny hat.  It is provided by Samantha’s mother Dolores (Linn Shay), a panicky Jewish stereotype who insists that her daughter wear it for no real reason that I can recall other than the fact that she spent time making it.  It is a white knit cap embossed with a very large Star of David made out of bright flashing lights.  Samantha hates it.  Why would her mother make something like that?  Why make the Star of David flash?  Why would Samantha wear it to a night club?  Why would it not raise questions from the men she is trying to take home for the night? Perhaps it could have been part of Samantha’s experiment to see if she could pick up a man who would be willing to look past it. Perhaps she could have dumped it in the garbage can before going into the club. Perhaps the movie could have ditched the hat, the experiements, and the cliches and just dealt with well-written characters getting to know each other.


About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2012) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy