Losing Control

Losing Control

Lin Shaye as Dolores, Miranda Kent as Samantha and Kathleen Robertson as Leslie in LOSING CONTROL, a film by Valerie Weiss. Picture courtesy PhD Productions. All rights reserved.

Losing Control

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  • Sharon Edelson
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* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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Losing Control (2011/2012)

Opened: 03/23/2012 Limited

Quad Cinema/NYC03/23/2012 - 03/29/20127 days
Folsom, CA03/30/2012 - 04/05/20127 days
Cambridge, MA04/06/2012 - 04/12/20127 days
NoHo 704/13/2012 - 04/26/201214 days
Tacoma, WA04/13/2012 - 04/19/20127 days
Tempe, AZ04/13/2012 - 04/19/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Facebook

Genre: Quirky Romantic Comedy

Rated: R for for some sexual content and language.


LOSING CONTROL is a fresh and funny independent film that explores the universal idea that, at some point, everyone fears that there is a "right" way to find love, and that they might be going about it the wrong way. LOSING CONTROL is a smart and original romantic comedy about a female scientist who wants empirical proof that her boyfriend is "the one." Evoking a lighthearted and clever tone, LOSING CONTROL is the story of a charmingly neurotic Harvard graduate student whose life doesn't seem to be working out the way she planned. Frustrated by life's unpredictability and determined to apply scientific principles to her love life, she sets off on a series of wild dating adventures - a journey that ultimately leads to her understanding that nothing can be controlled and that life is indeed more about the ride than the destination.

Select Acclaim

"Loved it! Fun, really charming. Leads were terrific. I am proud of you. An amazing feat." -- Jerry Zucker, Director of Airplane, Producer of Fair Game

"There are so many lovely gags & such a light fluffiness throughout. I had a terrific time. You're a good director!" -- Andrew Bujalski, Director of Funny Ha-Ha

"I was blown away by your movie. So smart, well cast, written and directed. It was quirky and winsome and wonderfully full of heart. Nancy Myers watch out!" -- Joanna Kerns, Actor, Television Director

"Losing Control is energetically directed, thoughtfully cast and beautifully edited. Filmmaker Valerie Weiss is an emerging talent." -- Gerald Peary, film critic, The Boston Phoenix

"Losing Control isn't your typical rom-com. It's a smart and funny film." -- Caramie Schnell, Vail Daily


Samantha Bazarick is losing it. Within weeks of starting her Ph.D. program in biochemistry at Harvard, Samantha ("Sam") discovers the Y-kill protein and is convinced that scientific glory is just around the corner... Four years later, Sam still can't replicate her results, and her charmingly neurotic tendencies are turning into a serious control problem.

When her boyfriend, Ben, proposes, Sam panics and says no, unsure that their relationship "data" is conclusive. Sam tells Ben that she needs proof that he is "the one," while Ben insists that all she needs is faith. Telling him that she "can't have faith without proof," Sam settles on the conclusion that she needs to conduct a control experiment for their relationship -- she needs to see other people. This prompts Ben, at wit's end, to move to China to accept a previously deferred fellowship.

Focusing more than ever on her career, Sam takes the advice of her thesis adviser, the charming but ruthless Professor Wilhelm Straub, and scales up her experiments. Meanwhile, at her best friend Leslie's urging, Sam embarks on a quest for more dating data, determined to figure out if Ben is indeed "the one."

While in China, Ben finds his colleague, Trudy, to be not only very attentive to his emotional needs, but also a lot less complicated to deal with than Sam ever was. Back in Boston, Sam has a series of disastrous dates, but finally meets Maurizio Ploploplovic, an Italian-Tajikistanian Jewish experimental artist, who shares her sense of adventure and love of experimentation.

Sam's dating adventures are disrupted when a Chinese scientist from her lab is caught smuggling Sam's Y-kill protein to Beijing. Armed with the realization that someone has been "misappropriating" her data for the past four years, Sam corrals her experiments and sets up a makeshift lab in her apartment -- one that she's now sharing with her hypochondriac mother.

Away from the laboratory, Sam discovers that her experiments are working again after four long years of failed trials -- and might always have been working. Sam's first thought is to share her news with Ben, but before she can, he contacts her to announce that he finally has found the one for him -- someone who wants him the way he wants her.

Devastated, Sam leaves for China to prove her love for Ben, but it is too late. He no longer trusts her with his heart and won't take her back. Deflated, Sam returns to Boston only to realize that she is suspected of being in cahoots with the Chinese scientist who was stealing data from the lab. Now Sam must clear her name and find a way to win back her only true love. In the process of trying to win Ben back, she learns that life cannot be controlled and that the best we can do in love is to trust our hearts along with our heads.

Director's Statement

For me, doing science or making movies has always been about a passion to know how things work. My love of science stemmed from wanting to know how life works and why things are the way they are. In writing and directing movies, I approach character and story the same way -- trying to get to the essence of why people are the way they are and do what they do.

Losing Control is loosely based on my time getting a Ph.D. in X-ray Crystallography at Harvard Medical School. I hoped to make a movie from the perspective of a female scientist about dating and show a woman trying to apply scientific principles to the search for a mate. My objective was to explore whether this was a constructive approach or not, while sharing some of the quirky characters you find in academic science. While I didn't actually go through what Samantha does in my movie, I wanted to create a character who is smart and aware and has a plan for her life, as many people do, and take it to even more of an extreme because she is a scientist. Cause and effect are crucial to her thought process. I feel a lot of what my generation senses is that with all the technology and education that exists, we can control our lives more easily than people in the past could and so they should turn out the way we want them to. I wanted to take the thought of, "I can predict how my life turns out," and say, "What happens if things don't quite go according to plan?"

During this time, I also met many of the people who inspired the eccentric characters in Losing Control, like Tantric Sam, the Polyamorous Couple, the protagonist's lab mates Rudy and Chen Wa; even Professor Straub was an amalgam of several different authority figures at Harvard, including President Larry Summers and his infamous statement about Women's inferiority in Math and Science.

My favorite kind of comedy is that of grounded absurdity. I like to write about characters who are a little bit fringe and get themselves into some pretty crazy situations when thrown together. Pedro Almodovar's, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is one of my favorite films and I wanted Losing Control to have the same zaniness, obsessive main character and circus-like feel of that film. Casting really excellent and believable actors and shooting with a somewhat realistic style helps ground these over-the-top characters and makes the situations even funnier and more awkward.

-- Valerie Weiss (Writer/Director)


Valerie Weiss (Writer/Director)

A former Ph.D. candidate in Biophysics at Harvard, Valerie earned her doctorate and then never touched another experiment again. She walked away from science as Dr. Weiss to follow her passion for filmmaking. Upon graduation, Valerie moved to Los Angeles where she completed the American Film Institute (AFI) Directing Workshop for Women where she created her comedic sci-fi short Transgressions, which has won several awards, including a BAFTA. Losing Control is her feature film debut.

Miranda Kent (Samantha)

Miranda Kent is an actress, improviser and writer in Los Angeles. Miranda graduated with honors from NYU's Tisch School of The Arts and spent many years performing in New York, on and off-Broadway. Her Broadway debut was in The Judas Kiss starring Liam Neeson and Tom Hollander; she also worked with Jason Robards in Harold Pinter's Moonlight, at The Roundabout Theatre. In addition to the New York Stage, Miranda has performed regionally at The Arena Stage, The Long Wharf Theater and The Two River Theater Company to name a few. Miranda studied Improv with John Thies at The Hothouse Improv Theater and performs regularly at "Bang!" with her group Captains of Industry. As a writer, Miranda has created sketches for her web based sketch group Gravitas.

Best known as "Paige" on the semi-scripted series Campus Ladies, Miranda worked with co-producer, Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) during the series which appeared on the Oxygen Channel for two seasons. Miranda currently plays the role of "Aunt Abby" on the Comedy Central web series Matumbo Goldberg starring Anthony Anderson.

Losing Control is Miranda's first feature film as lead. Her previous appearance in a feature was In & Out with Kevin Kline. Miranda hails from Arizona and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Reid Scott (Ben)

Reid Scott was born and raised in upstate New York, where he received a degree from Syracuse University before moving to NYC to pursue acting with a role on All My Children. Reid has the distinction of simultaneously filming two acclaimed cable series. He currently serves as hunky oncologist to Academy Award nominee Laura Linney on the Golden Globe-winning Showtime series The Big C, which already has been ordered for a second season, and also will assume a coveted role as a D.C. legend opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus in HBO's anticipated comedy pilot Veep.

Reid previously over-lapped productions with season four of TBS' first original comedy series, My Boys while juggling a multi-episode arc on ABC Family Channel's hit drama Secret Life of an American Teenager.

Reid relocated to L.A. for a role in the Fox Pilot With You in Spirit and ultimately went on to star on the acclaimed ABC comedy It's All Relative, from the producers of the Academy Award-winning film Chicago. A recurring role on NBC's celebrated drama American Dreams followed thereafter, as well as a role in the telefilm Revenge of a Middle Aged Woman with Christine Lahti.

Reid's big screen accomplishments include the New Line thriller Amusement; a comedy feature Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas which co-starred Patrick Fugit, Cheryl Hines, and Olivia Wilde; and more recently the indie drama Missing William. Reid plays the perfect romantic male lead in the smart and funny, indie romantic comedy, Losing Control.

He currently makes his home in Los Angeles with his beloved pit bulls, where in addition to his love of music, he is also an avid downhill skier.

Kathleen Robertson (Leslie)

Kathleen Robertson's diverse projects and chameleon-like performances continue to impress audiences and critics alike. She next will star in Gus Van Sant's anticipated Starz drama Boss as aide to Kelsey Grammer's "Mayor Kane." Kathleen also starred in the drama A Night For Dying Tigers which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and more recently filmed the anticipated sequel to Writer/Director Don Shebib's 1970 Canadian classic Goin' Down the Road, fittingly titled Down the Road Again.

Kathleen's work includes her headlining IFC's Gemini Award-winning mockumentary style comedy series The Business for which she also served double duty as Executive Producer. Additionally, her turn as the wicked sorceress sister opposite Zooey Deschanel in Tin Man, Sci Fi's six-hour mini-series take on "The Wizard of Oz," which at the time garnered the highest ratings in the network's history along with multiple Emmynominations. Kathleen's latest feature role has her playing the perfect comedic foil as the best friend to the slightly neurotic lead in the romantic comedy Losing Control.

No stranger to the big screen, she starred alongside Academy Award-winners Ben Affleck and Adrien Brody in the dramatic thriller Hollywoodland and appeared opposite Mark Ruffalo in IFC Films' sexual drama XX/XY that was in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival. In contrast, she also starred for Keenen Ivory Wayans in the sequel to Dimension Films' blockbuster, Scary Movie.

Additional feature credits include Beautiful with Minnie Driver for director Sally Field, Bruce McCulloch's Dog Park, and Sundance favorite Psycho Beach Party. Kathleen also has co-starred with Bill Murray in director John McNaughton's comedy Speaking of Sex; starred as notorious Canadian murderer Evelyn Dick in the grizzly 1946 true story Torso for which she garnered her third Best Actress Gemini Award nomination (Canadian Emmy); and had a coveted cameo opposite Sean Penn in New Line Cinema's I Am Sam. In addition, she appeared in the Adam Goldberg helmed I Love Your Work with Giovanni Ribisi and Franke Potente.

Kathleen's sophomore foray into television since assuming the role of "Clare Arnold" on the hit FOX series Beverly Hills, 90210 was with the David E. Kelley drama Girls Club for which she received considerable critical praise. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Robertson currently resides in Los Angeles.

Lin Shaye (Dolores)

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Lin Shaye knew that she was destined to act for as long as she could remember. She performed in plays in college at the University of Michigan and then was accepted into Columbia University's Master of Fine Arts program in acting. After graduation, Lin honed her skills by acting in plays with the best and brightest in New York theater, including directors like the infamous Joseph Papp and Des Macanuff. Some of the highlights include Tartuffe (at the New York Shakespeare Festival), The Tempest and The Taking of Miss Janie at Lincoln Center (which won the Drama Critics Award).

Lin made her film debut in New York in Hester Street where she portrayed a Polish prostitute, much to her mother's chagrin. Shortly thereafter, she flew to Los Angeles after hearing that Jack Nicholson was interested in meeting her. Her airline ticket proved to be a worthwhile investment -- she was cast in his film Goin' South. Upon her move to Los Angeles, Lin's love of theater inspired her and 12 other actors to put together a theater company called the Los Angeles Theater Unit in 1982 that lasted for a decade and earned many awards. Her most memorable performance was in Better Days which earned her a Drama-Logue Award for Best Actress.

The talented and versatile actress continued to work regularly and is undoubtedly one of the industry's greatest chameleons. The Farrelly Brothers gave Lin her first in a series of memorable characters in their 1994 hit comedy Dumb and Dumber. They went on to cast her as the infamous landlady in Kingpin opposite Woody Harrelson, and then as "Magda," the sun-withered neighbor of Cameron Diaz in their hit There's Something About Mary. She was also unforgettable as the KISS-hating mom in Detroit Rock City and as "Sonia," the tough German/Swedish coach in Boat Trip with Cuba Gooding, Jr. In a dramatic change of pace, she received critical acclaim in The Hillside Strangler as the alcoholic mother opposite Nick Turturro and C. Thomas Howell.

Lin also has amassed a plethora of horror film roles, which has made her a cult favorite. This year Lin starred in the runaway hit Insidious alongside Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson. In addition, her horror credits include 2001 Maniacs, in which she starred with Robert Englund, and its sequel, 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams, Snoop Dog's Hood of Horror, Dead End, and Killer By Nature, soon to be released, also starring Ron Pearlman and Armand Assante. Lin also starred in the thriller Snakes on a Plane opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Julianna Margulies. She portrayed the head flight attendant Grace, who wrestles with the unwanted passengers on the doomed flight.

In addition to Losing Control, Lin's upcoming films include: A Good Old Fashion Orgy, starring Jason Sudeikis, Rosewood Lane, starring Rose McGowan and The Three Stooges, starring Jane Lynch and Larry David. Lin has a solid resume in television as well with guest appearances on Crossing Jordan, My Name is Earl, Frasier, Becker, Arliss, Dirty Sexy Money and most recently ER. She resides in Los Angeles.

John Billingsley (Professor Straub)

John Billingsley was born in Media, Pennsylvania, and lived for a time in Alabama and Louisiana. His family finally settled down in Connecticut, where John had his southern drawl beaten out of him by Yankee children, and where he began to act in school plays, initially A Christmas Carol, playing a ferocious (albeit gap-toothed and lisping) Ebenezer Scrooge. He graduated Bennington College, in Bennington, VT, where he studied theatre with Nicholas Martin and literature with Bernard Malamud. Upon graduation, he moved to Seattle, Washington, where, over a fifteen year period, he appeared on regional stages both well and ill regarded. He toured Europe and portions of the US garnering theater credits including Candide, David Mamet's Bobby Gould in Hell, The Seagull, The Birthday Party, Great Expectations, 12th Night and Bitter Bierce, a one man show he produced himself about the life and times of Ambrose Bierce. He also played a Berber taxi-cab driver in Ugly's First World at The Actor's Gang appearing opposite his lovely wife Bonita Friedericy, who played Lady Jane Greystoke, aka Mrs. Tarzan (and who plays, coincidentally, Mrs. Egan Foote on The Nine).

After moving to Los Angeles in 1995, John caught a break and was cast in NYPD Blue as a pathetic and addled child molester. A variety of guest starring roles followed: NCIS, Suspect, Ghost Whisperer, Standoff, The Practice, Profiler, Pretender, Marshall Law, Nash Bridges, The X-Files, Time of Your Life, Judging Amy, Arli$$, The West Wing, Six Feet Under, 24, True Blood, Grey's Anatomy, Angel, Eli Stone, CSI, Nip/Tuck, Cold Case and The Closer among others. In l999, Stephen Spielberg cast him as Professor Miles Ballard in The Others. And in 2000, John was cast as "Dr. Phlox" in Star Trek: Enterprise. Dr. Phlox was an eccentric alien with a whimsical sense of humor, and John wore the requisite rubber head for four seasons. John also had a recurring role, playing the evil Vice-President's hapless (and toothless) brother on Prison Break. In 2006, John was cast as a series regular on the ABC show The Nine where he played "Egan Foote," a repressed and depressed underachiever who finds the lion inside him. He costarred with Tim Daly, Kim Raver and Scott Wolf.

His appearance in Losing Control is not his first film as he also has appeared in Out of Time opposite Denzel Washington, American Summer, High Crimes, The Glass House, White Oleander, Born to be Wild, I Love You To Death, A Cinderella Story, and 12 Dogs of Christmas, to name a few. Recently, in addition to Losing Control, John appeared in the film 2012, as well as shows such as 90210, The Mentalist and The Violet Hour.

Ben Weber (Dr. Rudy Mann)

Ben Weber got his start as a stand-up comedian in New York City. His first big break came at a club where a manager saw him perform and signed him as an actor writer. Within six months Ben landed his first acting gig, in the Steven Spielberg produced, Twister.

While in New York, Ben appeared in the indie feature Kissing Jessica Stein and the popular TV show, Sex and the City, playing "Skipper," Miranda's forlorn love interest in seasons one and two.

In 2001, Ben and his wife moved to Los Angeles. Shortly after arriving, Ben wrote and directed a short film called Little Red Light, which played at a number of festivals around the U.S. and won an audience award at the Santa Monica Film Festival. Ben has acted in a wide range of popular TV shows, including Everwood, ER, West Wing, Six Feet Under, Law & Order, Medium, Miss Match and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Prior to appearing in the romantic comedy Losing Control, Ben also has starred in commercials for Southwest Airlines, McDonald's, Apple and a long-running campaign for Geico where he played an overly sensitive caveman who was afraid of appearing pre-historic.

Ben graduated from NYU in 1994 with a degree in English. He currently lives in Venice, CA.

Bitsie Tulloch (Trudy)

Bitsie was born in San Diego, California but grew up in Spain, Uruguay and Argentina. She returned to the United States and received a double major degree from Harvard before gaining her first acting credit as R2-D2's 'girlfriend' in R2-D2: Beneath the Dome, a mockumentary produced by George Lucas. She has also appeared in Lakeview Terrace, with Samuel L. Jackson and worked with Barbara Hershey on a film called Uncross the Stars.

Bitsie appears in the award-winning film The Artist with John Goodman and James Cromwell, and is also one of the regulars on NBC's current dark fantastical series Grimm, in which the characters are inspired by the stories of the Grimm's Fairy Tales.

Bitsie currently lives in Los Angeles and is an active representative of the Corazon de Vida Foundation.