A classic, era-defining film of the 1980s, Electric Dreams is a charmingly quirky melange of electronic gadgetry, music, and ‘80s computer graphics all tied to an off-beat romantic comedy about a preppy architect (Lenny Von Dohlen) and his computer (voiced by Bud Cort) in a contest for the affections of a lovely young cellist (Virginia Madsen), who has moved in upstairs. Tapping not only into the burgeoning home computer craze of the early 1980s, the film also draws upon MTV at its music video peak, featuring original music by Culture Club, Jeff Lynne, Heaven 17, Phil Oakey, and electronic dance music pioneer Giorgio Moroder (who also scored the film). Electric Dreams is director Steve Barron’s and screenwriter Rusty Lemorande’s modern twist on Cyrano de Bergerac.
An accomplished director of many music videos (including artists Michael Jackson, The Human League, Madonna, Tears for Fears, Kenny Loggins, and Styx), Electric Dreams marks Steve Barron’s debut as a feature film director. It was also the first and only narrative feature to be executive produced by Virgin Records’ Richard Branson. Featuring endearing performances by Lenny Von Dohlen and Virginia Madsen in their breakout leading film roles, and a memorable voice performance by Bud Cort (Harold and Maude), Electric Dreams is a nostalgic throwback that captures the early ‘80s with an energy and sweetness that make it compulsively watchable.
“It’s not often that a modern movie has the courage to give us a hero who doesn’t seem to be a cross between a disco god and an aerobics instructor, but the von Dohlen character is a nice change. He’s likable, incompetent, and slightly dense.” — Roger Ebert
“Electric Dreams is like a Disney movie for the MTV generation, it’s a perfect blend of all its different elements and it’s well acted by attractive leads.” — George Rother, MovieGuy 24/7
“In a decade where computers made a big impact in cinema, with films like Tron (1982), WarGames (1983) and Weird Science (1985), this one takes an interesting approach and explores love and relationships.” — Marcella Papandrea, The Super Network