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Dopamine

Ostensibly about the pharmacological factors that affect the way we love one another, Dopamine gives an odd twist to the old boy-meets-girl story. Rand (John Livingston) is a software designer who works with two other guys in a one-room start-up company developing a simulated pet that displays artificial intelligence. One day they bring the pet, Koy Koy, to a nearby kindergarten class run by Sarah (Sarah Lloyd) to try it out on real kids. The children fall for Koy Koy, and Sarah falls for Rand. Somewhere along the way, however, the story falls apart and meanders from one underdeveloped idea to the next - including a coworker's rivalry for Sarah and Rand's complex relationship with his parents. Worse, any sparks that do fly between Rand and Sarah are snuffed out by the coolness of their performances. Passion could go a long way to resuscitate this flick. With location shooting ranging from the Presidio and South Park to the streets of San Francisco in the midst of Critical Mass, Dopamine will please some Bay Area moviegoers who like to see familiar places on the big screen. Others will send this experiment back to the lab.