Pin It
Favorite

Buzzkilled 

Multicultural, intergenerational buddy comedy Dough falls flat

click to enlarge Jerome Holder (left) and Jonathan Pryce in Dough.
  • Jerome Holder (left) and Jonathan Pryce in Dough.

How much one is taken in by the charms of British import Dough depends largely on one's cinematic sweet tooth.

If predictability, political correctness and easy laughs without a hint of edge or darkness are not impediments to how much you enjoy a film, this tale of an unlikely friendship between an old Jewish baker and his young, African, Muslim refugee assistant might make for a pleasurable 90 minutes at the movies.

If, on the other hand, you're naturally repelled by saccharine storylines, improbable plot twists and sitcom-level comedy, Dough doesn't rise to anything worth spending your money on.

That's no fault of the stars, who do their best to lend some gravitas to the feather-light stakes. Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones, Brazil) plays the old kosher baker Nat Dayan, a widower struggling to keep his family business afloat as a chain grocery store moves into the neighborhood. Opposite the film veteran is Jerome Holder, making his feature debut as Ayyash, a refugee from Darfur who takes an apprenticeship with Nat as a cover for his real job — dealing marijuana for a dangerous small-time criminal as a way to help his mother pay the rent and make up for the lost income of an absentee father.

Pryce and Holder have a nice chemistry as their characters discover that, despite their differences in age, race and religion, they're both honorable, hardworking men. Writers Yehudah Jez Freedman and Jonathan Benson lay on the bonding a bit thick, having the duo go from wary strangers to virtual family in hyperspeed. While that's a bit hard to believe, it's just one of the problems with Dough.

More difficult is the main plot, in which Ayyash accidentally spills some weed into the dough as he learns to bake. The laced muffins, croissants and challah loaves become so popular that Nat's bakery becomes front-page news in the local paper, as Ayyash continues to infuse the goods after he sees how well they sell.

That might be a decent setup for a stoner comedy, but in a movie that purports to meditate on deeper issues, it falls short. That failure is even more pronounced when Dough suddenly shifts into a caper flick for the last third, as the duo tries to hide what happened from the police and the villainous exec from the grocery chain trying to take over Nat's business.

Clearly, the filmmakers' hearts were in the right place with Dough, but the final product will leave you with the munchies for a much better movie. ♦

Trailer


Dough
Rated NR · 94 minutes · 2016
Official Site: www.menemshafilms.com/dough
Director: John Goldschmidt
Producer: György Gattyán, John Goldschmidt, Wolfgang Esenwein and András Somkuti
Cast: Jonathan Pryce, Jerome Holder, Philip Davis, Ian Hart, Pauline Collins, Andrew Ellis, Malachi Kirby, Natasha Gordon, Melanie Freeman, Andy de la Tour and Daniel Caltagirone

Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Dough

Tags: ,

  • Pin It

Latest in Film

  • Mind the Gap
  • Mind the Gap

    20th Century Women offers a compassionate take on generational shifts
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Golden Arches
  • Golden Arches

    Michael Keaton gives us the story of McDonald's in the Founder
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Print (and Reprint) the Legend
  • Print (and Reprint) the Legend

    Jackie keeps repeating its intriguing ideas about turning people into icons
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Water is Life Benefit Concert

Water is Life Benefit Concert @ Bing Crosby Theater

Sat., Jan. 21, 6 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

or

More by Dan Nailen

  • A Big Move
  • A Big Move

    Badass Backyard Brewing is now pouring in Spokane Valley
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Must-See TV?
  • Must-See TV?

    Alternatives to the inauguration (and how to make watching more fun if you have to)
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Sunny Disposition
  • Sunny Disposition

    Seattle trio Duke Evers' new album is surprisingly full of bright pop-rock
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Most Commented On

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Review


Film


Music


Readers also liked…

  • Where Are the Women?
  • Where Are the Women?

    A critic's year-long deep dive into the way movies portray half of humanity
    • May 12, 2016
  • Spy vs. Spy
  • Spy vs. Spy

    The Man from U.N.C.L.E. carves out a unique space in a crowded espionage marketplace
    • Aug 12, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation