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Dopamine

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Mark Decena’s moody indie explores the question ”Is love rooted in physiology rather than our hearts?” Rand (Livingston) is a loner computer programmer working at a start-up company, creating an animated computer pet for kids called Koy Koy. Sarah (Lloyd) is the doe-eyed woman who challenges Rand’s theory that emotion is nothing more than the brain’s release of the ”pleasure drug,” dopamine, during lovemaking. The concept is interesting, but the movie doesn’t break any new ground — both characters’ beliefs are based on traumatic incidents in their pasts, and predictably, they find salvation in each other. More engaging is the movie’s realistic depiction of the San Francisco dotcom boom and bust through the eyes of the company’s Gen-X staffers. EXTRAS An illuminating making-of doc reveals the breakneck speed at which the film was done (three months from preproduction to rough cut) because of a last-minute loss of funding.