The Bread, My Sweet
Director Melissa Martin's debut feature is an inflated Lifetime drama made mildly bearable by its utter sincerity. Dominic (Scott Baio--yes, that Scott Baio) owns a Pittsburgh bakery where he and this two brothers make traditional Italian breads and pastries, but he makes his real bread as a no-bullshit corporate cost-cutter. When Dominic finds out that Bella (Rosemary Prinz)--the sweet old woman who lives above the bakery with her husband--has terminal cancer and worries that her Peace Corps daughter Lucca (Kristin Minter) is a spinster in the making, Dominic tracks Lucca down and (literally) proposes a deal: They should marry just long enough for Bella to stage her big, fat Italian wedding and die in peace. It's a ludicrous peg on which to hang this melodramatic meatball, but Martin makes this Hallmark-card sentimentality--Italian stereotypes abound, heartstrings are pulled, and, wouldn't you know it, Dominic and Lucca may be forming more than a well- intentioned deception--work with a built-in bulwark. Sweet is a hopelessly heartwarming fable that makes you feel like a heel for mocking its hokey hope.