(2003)

Critic Reviews

52

Metascore

Based on 23 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Film Threat
Would that we could extract the essence of this utterly enjoyable film and distill its creativity, intelligence and originality into a serum which we could then inject into all the tapped-out Hollywood screenwriters and directors out there.
70
Shakespeare asked, "Or in the heart, or in the head?" It's not a new question by any means, but it's one that is given a fresh and refreshing adult twist by Decena's heady yet steady-handed Dopamine.
63
Chicago Tribune
The moody, distinctively San Franciscan Dopamine has other charming little touches -- its humor, its characters, its city life -- that make you want the film to succeed. It doesn't entirely; it's more likable than it is good.
58
A melancholy romance that has the distinction of being the first film set among San Francisco dotcommers that knows it's about the end of the boom.
58
There's no disguising the fact that, beneath all its talk, this is a very traditional, very predictable romance; it's sorely in need of some comic relief; and, if you're a non-smoker, you will get very tired of its heroine blowing smoke in your face.
50
Variety
A dweeby and unenchanting concoction as romantic comedies go, Mark Decena's debut feature also juggles enough storylines to fill five or six movies in barely 80 minutes of screen time, ending up with a whole distinctly less than the sum of its parts.
50
Village Voice
The premise (does modern neurochemistry debunk love?) is fresh enough, but too much would-be banter falls flat, and the story is woefully schematic.
50
Dallas Observer
The ideas behind the story are intriguing and could prompt endless hours of lively discussion, but the film proves surprisingly drab.
40
The A.V. Club
The issues Decena raises rarely get treated on any but the most superficial of levels, and the flatly realized characters make it difficult to care what becomes of them.
30
L.A. Weekly
This feels like a movie that was grown in a petri dish -- poked and prodded with all manner of overcooked symbolism and thesis statements, but fatally absent the genuine human emotions about which it incessantly prattles on.

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