Is he or she "the one?"
If you're, well, human, you've probably asked that question about a past or present mate at some point in your courtship. What if you could conduct a scientific experiment to test the answer to that universal question? In the new quirky romantic comedy film, Losing Control, (A PhD Production)—which premieres in Chicago in June—Samantha Bazarick (played by Miranda Kent of TV's Campus Ladies) tests just that.
Samantha, played by Miranda Kent, is a Harvard biochemist, looking for Mr. Right.
Samantha, a sweet and neurotic Jewish Harvard biochemist working on her Ph.D., has discovered the Y-kill protein. Four years after her discovery, though, she has yet to replicate her results. Outside the lab, Samantha's frustrated as well. Her boyfriend of five years, Ben, (played by Reid Scott, of My Boys) proposes, but Samantha rejects him, and sets out—on a series of dating mishaps—to find proof whether he's Mr. Right.
Written and directed by Valerie Weiss, the film is loosely based on Weiss's real-life experience as a Jewish woman getting a Ph.D. in biophysics at Harvard—minus the part about finding proof that her husband is the one. "I wanted to make a movie about that time in your life when you're dating and thinking about who you're going to end up with," says Weiss, a young Jewish filmmaker living in Los Angeles, who is 9 months pregnant with her second child. "I thought a female scientist would offer a unique perspective to that universal question about love."
Samantha questions whether she should marry her boyfriend Ben (Reid Scott).
The film comes to Chicago as part of the third annual "Twix Presents: TBS Just for Laughs Chicago" comedy festival, taking place June 14-19. "Just for Laughs" and The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will present five nights of independent comedic shorts and feature films, including "Losing Control," playing Saturday, June 11 and Tuesday, June 14. The films will take place within Indie Comedy—The Christopher Wetzel Award for Independent Film Comedy, created at the Gene Siskel Film Center to support independent filmmakers.
Jeffrey M. Loeb, a young Jewish Chicagoan active in the Jewish community, is the executive producer of the film. "As a native Chicagoan, I am excited for all my friends and family to get a chance to see the movie they all have heard so much about," he says. "While film festival and college campus audiences have loved Losing Control, these Chicago screenings are our first opportunity to show that a diverse, big-city audience will love it too."
Weiss wrote Samantha as a Jewish scientist because she wanted to defy the notion that science and faith can't mix. "People always think science and faith are so different or that scientists aren't superstitious but if you grow up a certain way, it's going to affect your way of thinking," Weiss says. "Samantha's an analytical scientist, but she very much has the neuroses and inconsistencies that her mom (played by Lin Shaye, There's Something About Mary) does. There is science but there is also a plan and God and they can both work together."
Valerie Weiss, the Jewish writer/director of the film.
With so much technology and education out there today, the younger generation of 20 and 30-somethings think they can control their lives—even their dating lives—more easily than their parents' generation, but some parts of life just can't be controlled, says Weiss.
Also in contrast to their mothers, today's generation of young women, Weiss says, have tougher decisions to make when it comes to settling down. "Now that women are just as career-obsessed as men, it's a much harder decision to make about whom they end up with," she said. "It's harder to figure out how they're going to balance everything so finding the right person is more of a puzzle than it ever was."
For tickets to the Chicago screenings of the film, visit http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/losing-control