Rare professions are hard to come by these days. Especially in a country dominated by startups and other nebulous office work. But, at last, Berlin born writer-director Anja Marquardt has found an untapped profession to explore in She’s Lost Control: that of the sexual surrogate.
What exactly is a sexual surrogate, you might wonder? A woman named Ronah (Brooke Bloom) studying to complete her master’s in behavioral psychology, part of which includes her very physical research of sleeping with emotionally stunted men to help them overcome their quibbles with intimacy.
Her supervisor, Dr. Cassidy (Dennis Boutsikaris), assigns her a new client, Johnny (Marc Menchaca), who is far more volatile and unpredictable than her other two patients of the moment. It is his elusiveness and impenetrability that makes Ronah even more determined to crack through his emotions and get him to open up to her–especially sexually.
In the meantime, an issue with a leak in her shower that has trickled down to her neighbor’s, Claire (Roxanne Day), leads her to forge a friendship with her and invite her over to dinner. It is over this meal that Claire notices Ronah’s washing machine, an appliance that will later come back to haunt Ronah with regard to the leak.
In spite of the issues her patients have, Ronah herself slowly reveals aspects of her life that show her fragile mental state. For one, she injects herself with hormones to freeze her eggs and, for another, she brushes off communication with her brother, Andro (Ryan Homchick), back in Canada even though he informs her that their senile mother has disappeared from his house.
To put herself in the potentially dangerous situation of allowing her clients to become too attached or to misconstrue her feelings is telling of Ronah’s subconscious self-worth. As she tells Johnny, “All relationships end. People break up or die.” The idea she has in mind for her patients is to transfer the emotions gleaned from their sessions with her to another woman they actually care about.
The semi-tragic fate that befalls Ronah is indicative of the therapist’s plight: so often they can see everything that’s wrong with others, but possess an inconceivable blind spot when it comes to their own foibles.