End in sight for doughy drama

Barry C Chung
Barry C Chung |
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Twenty-something Ping (Michelle Chen Yan-hsi) has always dreamed of visiting France. Yet she's stuck working at her father's bakery with longtime boyfriend Gao-bing (Chen Han-dian), who's ready to settle down.

One day, French-Taiwanese baker Bread (Anthony Neely) - yes, really - arrives, looking for a special bread his late mother adored. He convinces bakery owner Mr Chiu (Liao Chun) to take him as an apprentice and soon falls for Ping. He's everything she values in a guy - independent, adventurous, modern. She is torn. It will take a final bakeoff to work out where her heart and soul lie.

The double meaning in the title Soul of Bread is a weak attempt at wordplay, a classic case of rhyme over reason. There's really little reason why it's Bread's soul in question and not Ping's. But cheesy puns are typical of rom-coms both from Asia and abroad.

Bread and Gao-bing are at opposite ends of a spectrum, with Ping in the middle. In the end - well, you probably know who will win out.

Chen pulls off the timid, girl-next-door act with ease, as she did in You Are the Apple of My Eye. Liao, as her father, brings a small-town, rustic sensibility to his character. But Neely is clearly miscast and has no chemistry with Chen. His lines are delivered in a grandiose fashion rather than spoken The role may be of the perfect trophy boyfriend, but that won't win him any hearts - outside the film, anyway.

YP Rating: 3/5



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