This London-set comedy means well, but it’s all so painfully earnest – and it doesn’t help that the script is total nonsense. Jonathan Pryce is Nat, a Jewish baker whose property is under threat from the devious property magnate (Phil Davis) next door. When his assistant leaves, Nat is forced to hire African immigrant and practising Muslim Ayyash (Jerome Holder) to man the shop. You can guess what comes next – initial mistrust followed by understanding, friendship and cosy ‘we’re all the same really’ platitudes.
If ‘Dough’ had stopped there, it might have worked – in a creaky, old-fashioned sort of way. But there’s more. Ayyash is a part-time weed dealer in hock to Cockney thug Victor (Ian Hart, mugging like a madman). And when he starts slipping hash into the bagels, business at the bakery begins to boom!
Conveniently ignoring the un-hilarious implications of drugging innocent people, not to mention the fact that the shop and all its products would stink like an Amsterdam coffee house, director John Goldschmidt and his writers indulge this idiotic scenario to the max, filling the screen with stoned, happy-clapping old folks and hippies lining up for ‘the special’. Chuck in Pauline Collins as a randy widow with her sights set on taciturn Nat, and the result is just a bit cringey.