7.3/10
7,433
83 user 58 critic

Mostly Martha (2001)

Bella Martha (original title)
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.

Director:

Sandra Nettelbeck

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
14 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of Danièle Delpeuch and how she was appointed as the private chef for François Mitterrand.

Director: Christian Vincent
Stars: Catherine Frot, Arthur Dupont, Jean d'Ormesson
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The life of a top chef changes when she becomes the guardian of her young niece.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin
Le Chef (2012)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A veteran chef faces off against his restaurant group's new CEO, who wants to the establishment to lose a star from its rating in order to bring in a younger chef who specializes in molecular gastronomy.

Director: Daniel Cohen
Stars: Jean Reno, Michaël Youn, Raphaëlle Agogué
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In this super-feel-good foodie comedy, young Manhattan chef Samir rediscovers his heritage and his passion for life through the enchanting art of cooking Indian food.

Director: David Kaplan
Stars: Dean Winters, Jess Weixler, Aarti Mann
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A documentary about three unique restaurants and their respective owners.

Director: Joseph Levy
Stars: Grant Achatz, Cindy Breitbach, Mike Breitbach
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martina Gedeck ... Martha Klein
Maxime Foerste Maxime Foerste ... Lina Klein (Martha's niece)
Sergio Castellitto ... Mario
August Zirner ... Martha's Therapist
Sibylle Canonica ... Frida
Katja Studt ... Lea
Antonio Wannek ... Carlos
Idil Üner Idil Üner ... Bernadette
Oliver Broumis ... Jan
Ulrich Thomsen ... Sam Thalberg
Gerhard Garbers Gerhard Garbers ... Herr Steinberg
Angela Schmidt Angela Schmidt ... Frau Steinberg
Diego Ribon Diego Ribon ... Giuseppe Lorenzo
W.D. Sprenger W.D. Sprenger ... Noisy customer
Victoria Trauttmansdorff Victoria Trauttmansdorff ... Companion (as Victoria von Trautmannsdorf)
Edit

Storyline

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 inquiries 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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Germany | Italy | Austria | Switzerland

Language:

German | Italian

Release Date:

27 September 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mostly Martha See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamburg, Germany See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,446, 18 August 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,160,475

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,852,022
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Martha and Mario first kiss, he leans to the right with the left side of their noses touching. In the next shot he's leaning to the left. See more »

Quotes

Lina Klein: I'm not going without my scarf!
See more »

Connections

Remade as No Reservations (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

U Dance
Written by Keith Jarrett
Performed by Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette
ECM Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Thoughtful, moving, rewarding
9 November 2002 | by zwirnmSee all my reviews

A few rhetorical questions:

a. Why are there no great English-language food/romance movies? Whenever you see a movie that truly ravishes you with food preparation and recipes as part of the atmosphere of the movie, it comes from France or Mexico or Hong Kong - or, if it is in English, it's borrowed culturally from another country (e.g. Chocolat, or the Mexican-American adaptation of Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman). I think it's because the English speaking societies of the world have a relatively unsophisticated approach to food preparation and dining, manifest in our great contributions to world culinary arts - fast food and industrial agriculture, plus cooking technologies that take art out of the equation. You can't have a sexy drama set amidst a world of force-fed veal or microwave dinners.

b. Why do we never talk about German comedy? The Germans do have a comedic tradition, but the movies that are released in the US tend to be solemn dramas, violent or shocking action pieces or grim experimental works. On the rare instances that I see a German comedy, I'm always pleasantly surprised, and I have the feeling I'm missing out.

c. Why are European movies so much better than American films at showing sexiness and desirability in 30- or 40-something year-old women? I have a pet theory, that European sensibilities about marriage and commitment are sufficiently different from American norms that there is the expectation that a 35-year old woman may yet be actively and happily single, or perhaps a single mom who isn't stigmatized to feel that she had best find some sucker to marry her and get out of the dating pool.

d. Why isn't jazz used in American soundtracks anymore? In this film set in Germany, the score is assembled by Manfred Eicher (founder of ECM, the acclaimed modern-jazz label), and it's all good. Some nice German lieder, classic vocal jazz, and instrumental pieces by Keith Jarrett and others. We Americans appear to have forgotten jazz as soundtrack music.

In any case, Mostly Martha is a fine little movie set in contemporary Köln, starring Martina Gedeck as the title character. Martha is a neurotic, workaholic chef at a high-end restaurant, whose control freak tendencies keep her at a distance from everyone. When her boss insists that she go to therapy, she replies by preparing recipes for the hapless shrink. Both lonely and a loner (a tricky combination), she throws herself into her work to the point of exhaustion.

Martha's single-minded life is thrown upside down when she suddenly becomes the guardian to her niece Lina (Maxime Foerste). As she struggles to take on this new role, the arrival of a competitor in the form of a brash Italian chef (Sergio Castellitto) threatens her supremacy in the kitchen.

Any viewer of romantic comedies knows where this is going, but I have no complaints about the plot line. The performances were all good; the dialogue is thoughtful; the food looks delicious. It's not a great movie, but it's a good one and would be an admirable effort by any studio.


15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 83 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed