Mostly Martha (2001)
"Bella Martha" (original title)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Romance, Drama  |  27 September 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,659 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 84 user | 57 critic | 28 from

When a headstrong chef takes charge of her equally stubborn 8-year-old niece, the tensions between them mount... until an Italian sous-chef arrives to lighten the mood.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maxime Foerste ...
August Zirner ...
Sibylle Canonica ...
Katja Studt ...
Idil Üner ...
Sam Thalberg
Gerhard Garbers ...
Herr Steinberg
Angela Schmidt ...
Frau Steinberg
Diego Ribon ...
Giuseppe Lorenzo
W.D. Sprenger ...
Noisy customer
Victoria Trauttmansdorff ...
Companion (as Victoria von Trautmannsdorf)


In a German restaurant, Chef Martha Klein is the undisputed supreme ruler of the kitchen staff and woe to any customer who would dare criticize her cooking. Her life is firmly centered around cooking which takes on a obsessive level with stubborn single mindedness. Even when she is ordered to take therapy, she still constantly talks about her work and the iron clad control she relishes in her task. All that changes when her sister dies in a car accident, leaving her 8 year old daughter, Lina. Martha takes her niece in and while making enquiries for her estranged father, she struggles to care for this stubbornly headstrong child. Meanwhile at work, a new chef named Mario is hired on and Martha feels threatened by this unorthodox intruder. The pressures of both her private and work life combine to create a situation that will fundamentally call her attitudes and life choices into question while these interlopers into her life begin to profoundly change it. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Shiawase" wa, honno chotto no sajikagen [Japan] See more »


Comedy | Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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Release Date:

27 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mostly Martha  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$40,446 (USA) (16 August 2002)


$4,158,045 (USA) (17 January 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sergio Castellitto's German wasn't good enough so Frank Glaubrecht was brought in to dub his voice for the German version. See more »


When Mario and Lina get ready to cook dinner at Martha's apartment, Lina puts on her apron twice. See more »


Mario: Why would she want to stay with her family in sunny Italy when she can return to cold and grey Germany to live there with a nut case like you?
See more »


Featured in Cinema Goes to Dinner (2005) See more »


Angelina - Zooma Zooma (Medley)
1991 Capitol Records, Inc.
Written Roberts/Fisher-Citarrelly/Prima
Performed by Louis Prima
© Published by Peer / Melodie der Weld Musikverlage
See more »

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User Reviews

Mostly Martha but all good.
22 February 2003 | by (Orange County, CA USA) – See all my reviews

"Mostly Martha" is a thoroughly delightful tale of a comely, self contained, socially unassured, and occasionally gauche German master chef, Martha (Gedeck), in need of a recipe for living who finds love through tragedy and romance through cooking. In thinking about these comments I concluded that there is nothing I would change about this film except the language (I don't speak German). A perfect little gem, "Mostly Martha" is the kind of flick which makes you feel sorry for those who won't watch foreign films because of subtitles and wonder why audiences dine voraciously on cinematic junk food when such palate pleasers as this are not only delicious but nutritious. (A-)

15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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