By Ethan Magee
Something everyone is told at some point in their lives is “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. I took one look at the poster for the small independent film Dough while in an art house theater and my mind immediately went racing as to what this film could possibly be. A jewish stoner comedy? I mean it has to be a comedy, right? Why else would the title be big, green, and feature a pot leaf in the “o”?
Well that’s not what I got with this film. Dough, directed by John Goldschmidt and written by Jez Freeman, is as by the books a drama as you can get. The film is about an old Jewish baker apprenticing a young pot slinging Muslim boy to help get him off the streets and put him to work to help him save his in danger bakery. It attempts at humorous moments here and there, but it’s hard to find an old lonely widow maintaining his heritage and a young Darfur refugee living with his single mother barely scraping by funny. This isn’t helped by the fact that this film at its core is just frightfully boring. It’s too predictable and too clichéd, if that can even be said about a movie so untypical (its untypical-ness being its most redeeming and endearing quality about the film). Even the most casual of moviegoer could tell you what happens in the movie within the first act. It’s a movie that could’ve benefitted from a few more re-writes. Re-writes that would’ve inserted genuine drama, conflict, and complex character growth instead of this paint-by-numbers plot that’s weakly supported by boring expositional dialogue and bland to terrible performances. Finally, a piss-poor attempt at a moral that is barely anything more than “racism and religious intolerance is bad” is shoehorned throughout the movie in an attempt to insert conflict in a film that had none to begin with. I don’t even think being high could make you enjoy this film.
A soul-less straight forward film with shoehorned morals that is only saved by its untypical premise to the status of conversation piece.