Dopamine (2003)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Dopamine Videos

Dopamine Photos

Movie Info

Mark Decena makes his directorial debut with the romantic comedy Dopamine. In San Francisco during the economic heyday of computer technology, Rand (John Livingston) works as a software designer. He and his co-workers, Winston (Bruno Campos) and Johnson (Reuben Grundy), have created a toy called Koy Koy, an A.I. cyber-pet that can respond to its owner's voice. Rand's love life hasn't been very productive, especially because his father (William Windom) has been repeatedly telling him that love is just a series of chemical reactions ever since his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. One day, Rand goes out to the bar after work and meets preschool teacher Sarah (Sabrina Lloyd), whom he feels strongly attracted to. When his company test markets his cyber-pet to little kids, Rand meets Sarah again and they are instantly connected. Despite their differing opinions on the chemical nature of love, Rand and Sarah begin a romance that puts their theories to the test. The film also stars Kathleen Antonia and Nicole Wilder. Shot on digital video, Dopamine premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
G (for language, sexuality and brief drug use)
Comedy , Documentary , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

Watch it now


Sabrina Lloyd
as Sarah McCaulley
Bruno Campos
as Winston
Reuben Grundy
as Johnson
William Windom
as Rand's Father
Nicole Wilder
as Machiko
Ivan Kraljevic
as Sleazy Guy
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Dopamine

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (21)

At bottom, what we've got here is a movie about a boy who meets a girl, loses her and tries to find a way to get her back. Which returns us to the original question: Can romance be reduced to scientific formula?

Full Review… | March 26, 2004
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Mostly a drab affair, unfolding in restaurants, office cubicles and anonymous apartments, in which characters talk endlessly about relationships in ways that suggest they think they're being intelligent.

March 25, 2004
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

An amiably slight independent film that probably should have gone directly to the Sundance Channel.

October 29, 2003
New York Daily News
Top Critic

... a near miss ...

October 13, 2003
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

While there's nothing terribly wrong with it, there's not much that's memorable either.

Full Review… | October 10, 2003
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Decena hooks us with these characters from the start and makes us believe in their pain and longing.

Full Review… | October 10, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Dopamine


"Dopamine" is a very slow moving movie. I bought it at "Hollywood Video" for $1.06 and I think I paid too much. A large part of the movie revolves around a little yellow bird named Koy Koy. Koy Koy is a character in a computer program. The graphics used to create the bird are very similar to the graphics in "Avatar". OOPS. I didn't mean to say "Avatar"; I meant "Pong". After I watched the movie, I put it in my box for Goodwill donations. This movie lasts 85 minutes. There is one positive thing I can say about this movie and I will add it to this review as soon as I think of something.

Monte Mendoza
Monte Mendoza

An OK movie that questions if there is a spiritual side to love or is it just a chemical, behavioral or environmental reaction.

Jake Conrad
Jake Conrad

An interesting display of awkward love and boys with stupid rationalizations for emotions. I think he gets it in the end though.

Jennifer Hayden
Jennifer Hayden

Dopamine Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Dopamine on our Movie forum!

News & Features