Love & Engineering

Love & Engineering ★★★½

Documentary about a group of Helsinki engineers determined to hack the entire idea of romance, via experiments touching on everything from biofeedback to body-smell analysis. The entire premise is a little cringe-worthy — the men come across as ultra-geeky, awkward variants on the PUA type, trying to socially engineer attraction while making the basic mistake of thinking that women are a strange but manipulatable species, rather than a collection of individuals. There's so much authoritative and utterly wrong-headed talk about "girls like this/girls don't like this" that they could be talking about a newly discovered element or a building material, rather than people. It's hard to watch without wanting to sit everyone involved down and gently explain that maybe the best route to finding love is to stop treating it as a scientific experiment that's always going to work the same way. Queasily fascinating, and at times very entertaining, but also a bit scattershot, with a feel-good ending that feels a bit tacked-on.