Dough review: This flat comedy needed longer in the oven

James Luxford

Jonathan Pryce stars as a Jewish baker in East London, forced by age and failing business to hire young Muslim Ayyash (Jerome Holder). Culture clashes abound, but when part-time marijuana dealer Ayyash drops some of his product into the baking mixture, business and their friendship starts to improve.

It’s a dopey premise that’s crept into countless movies and sitcoms: the ailing business getting a boost from a ‘secret ingredient’. Dough makes an effort to deliver a cosy, amiable dramedy that nudges the delicate topic of race relations, but it never takes us anywhere uncomfortable. The drug element of the story is incongruous, hardly controversial to modern audiences and puzzling rather than a critical part of the plot. Stars Pryce and Holder work on their chemistry, and their friendship is very believable by the film’s close. There’s never anything that tests that bond, however, at least nothing that can’t be solved with stirring but corny speeches about family and friendship.

While the film may leave you with a fuzzy feeling, Dough’s good nature glosses over a reluctance to go anywhere substantial with familiar material.

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