Electric Dreams is a 1984 American-British science fiction romantic comedy-drama film set in San Francisco, California, that depicts a love triangle between a man, a woman and a computer. It stars Lenny Von Dohlen (Twin Peaks), Virginia Madsen (Sideways and Candyman), Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2), and the voice of Bud Cort (Braindead) and was directed by Steve Barron, who also directed Mike Bassett – England Manager. It also has the honour of being the first film released by the Virgin Films production company. It’s designed in your typical cheesy 80s fashion but don’t let that fool you. This film is all kinds of funky.
Miles Harding is an architect who envisions a brick shaped like a jigsaw puzzle piece that could enable buildings to withstand earthquakes. Seeking a way to get organized, he buys a personal computer to help him develop his ideas. Although he is initially unsure that he will even be able to correctly operate the computer, he does what every good technology geek does and buys numerous extra gadgets that were not necessary for his work, such as switches to control household appliances like the blender, a speech synthesizer, and a microphone. When Miles attempts to download the entire database from a mainframe computer at work, his computer begins to overheat. In a state of panic, Miles uses a nearby bottle of champagne to douse the overheating machine, which then becomes sentient.
If a sentient computer wasn’t enough to set your appetite, as mentioned earlier on, a love triangle soon ensues between Miles, his computer (who later identifies himself as “Edgar”), and Miles’ neighbor, an attractive cellist named Madeline. That’s right!
The movie scores a 6.5 from IMDB which is possibly a little bit unfair but don’t let that put you off. It actually is a pretty cool film. I mean, look at this way. This was way before computers had gained such a big foothold in every day life. The idea of having a computer that could control your home with a few clicks was something of crazy science fiction times yet look where we are today with things like Apple’s HomeKit. The idea that people could converse or ask computers question too seemed the stuff of fantasy yet today we have Siri or Cortana. I’m not saying that your latest phone or Xbox is going to get the hots for your next door neighbor. Personally, I’d be pissed if mine did because I really don’t need anymore competition as I’m already struggling but I still think it’s quite funky to see people’s ideas of computing and how far we have come in the 32 years since.
The film also boasts a pretty kick arse soundtrack which no doubt was influenced by Richard Branson’s influence (He is the owner of Virgin). The soundtrack features music from prominent popular musicians of the time, being among the movies of this generation that actively explored the commercial link between a movie and its soundtrack.
The main song of the movie was called “Together in Electric Dreams”. If you like 80s music, you really should check it out (It’s by Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder). Here it is!
Remember. We’ll always be together. However far it seems! We’ll always be together. Together in Electric Dreams.