“Are you ashamed of being engineers?” asks Atanas Boev. It’s an odd question but in the world of this group of engineers, the butcher is often perceived as a better catch by women than they are.
Atanas is a doctor of Science in Technology and he’s convinced that engineers have an edge over regular guys in the game of love. He believes with the right scientific formula they can hack the codes of romance, attraction and chemistry, and with his eager guinea pigs, a group of fellow engineers, he intends to prove it.
From calculating the pace of a conversation to devising ways to look like a challenge in the eyes of the opposite sex, Atanas does initially appear to have some good ideas — albeit ones known by most teens who read dating websites — but we quickly realize that the men are more like boys emotionally and socially, and have little idea how to interact with women. They’re also bound and determine to go after women that are, at least physically, out of their league. (But in a world that values beauty for women and brains and money for men, this delusion is not a surprise.)
Along the way one gets the feeling that Atanas, married with a young child, is living vicariously through these experiments that he never experienced as a younger man. (It is also interesting to note that the director was a former engineer, and the challenges engineers have in love has been a recurring theme in his work.)
The men face the inevitable setbacks, unrequited attraction, disappointment and even heartbreak but the more each man ventures into the dating world, the more we see how romantic challenges affect each in very different ways.
Markus finds confidence hiding behind a cheesy and awkward captain costume — we later see that he’s bought it in a few designs. Andon, met with constant rejection – he receives low scores on the smell and face tests and is visibly disappointed — becomes increasingly picky and bitterly confrontational. Introverted Tuomas appears slightly bewildered and becomes the human diary for Todor’s romantic exploits. Todor, however, confident and the so called “pretty boy” of the nerd crew, ventures into the land of women with purpose and ease. Todor’s experiences become the most enjoyable and relatable moments of the film.
In the end, this fun and lighthearted film proves that when you take love outside of the laboratory and into real life it is rarely easy but always worth it. Chaka V.