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Four years into her biochemistry Ph.D. program at Harvard, Samantha ('Sam') still cannot replicate the results she achieved in her first few weeks in the program, and her charmingly neurotic tendencies are turning into a serious control problem.
Her anxiousness extends beyond her lab work and into her relationship with long-term boyfriend, Ben. When Ben proposes marriage, Sam panics, worried that their relationship 'data' is inconclusive. Insisting that she cannot have faith without proof, Sam decides to perform a 'control experiment' for her relationship - to see other people and collect 'dating data.'
Sam embarks on a whirlwind of dating adventures, tirelessly encouraged by her best friend, Leslie. Her academic experiments also reach an all-time high, with her advisor, Professor Straub, demanding more of her than ever. Her home life also provides no escape, as her hypochondriac mother, Dolores, decides to move in.
When Sam discovers that outside sources may be meddling with her data - and also with Ben - she must take control of her life once and for all. But her life may be harder to chart than she thought, and she may need to trust more than her facts and figures...