Film Review: Bakery in Brooklyn

It’s almost guaranteed that this overbaked, underwhelming confection will give you cinematic indigestion.
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When their dippy aunt (Linda Lavin, at her most tart) drops dead from too much sugar in her piece of cake, cousins Vivien (Aimee Teegarden) and Chloe (Krysta Rodriguez) inherit her Brooklyn boulangerie—along with a pile of debt. The two have always been closerthanthis, but the pressures of working together and myriad differences soon make them dire enemies.

This plot-heavy slice of granulated whimsy strives to be a soufflé but winds up being as flat as a pancake, due to its desperate-for-laughs, unbelievably contrived script by Francisco Zegers and director Gustavo Ron, overloaded with plot elements that include lame romantic entanglements for both girls, a drug deal and a murder. Bakery in Brooklyn is the kind of film that attempts to mine humor from a funeral scene in which oldsters whoop it up inappropriately in party hats before the coffin, and some highly questionable racial throwbacks like Chloe telling a Chinese chef, “Too much soy sauce,” or, in 2017, mind you, a whimsical blind black shoeshine man (Anthony Chisholm, heaven help him) with special divining powers. The best that can be said for the film is that it’s been snazzily photographed and has a piquant music score—nice framing for what is essentially more sour than sweet soggy schlock.

To their inestimable credit, Teegarden and the huge-eyed Rodriguez manage to retain some girlish appeal, through all the improbable shenanigans they endure. If only Ron and Zegers had come up with a suitably winning rom-com for them, they might have merged as the millennium’s Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell, who made a raft of cheaply made but sexy farces for Warners in the 1930s, any one of them infinitely superior to this misfire.

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