In the ostensibly charming, actually grating Losing Control, Harvard biophysics grad student Samantha (Miranda Kent) toils away in the lab—after early success, she's struggling to reproduce results—while trying to find a mate more suitable than longtime boyfriend Ben (Reid Scott). After his unexpected marriage proposal is rejected, model citizen Ben accepts a fellowship to study in China, and type A Sam works to ensure life hews more closely to her plan, mocking up a chart on which she can "empirically" rank the attributes of potential suitors. Misadventures are in store: Her work—which, adorably, involves expressing a protein that kills Y-chromosome-carrying sperm—makes for complicated small talk, and she's constantly having to check her samples at inconvenient times. The sitcom hyper-reality liberates first-time writer/director Valerie Weiss to amp up the lame ethnic ribbing (Sam has fretful Jewish parents and an impossible-to-understand, probably incompetent Chinese colleague) and the plucky raunch. After a few misfires—a tantric-sex coach manages to ejaculate right into a test tube, but isn't a great date—Sam homes in on a Euro performance artist (Theo Alexander) with an exhibitionist streak. The blue rom-com then takes a frenzied late turn into espionage territory, an attempt to gather momentum that only makes the film more tiresome.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.