Mostly Martha

Writer-director Sandra Nettlelbeck helms this charming, German-language romantic comedy that should delight foodie fans of such foreign and independent fare as Big Night, Like Water for Chocolate and Babette’s Feast. Martha Klein (Martina Gedeck) is a meticulous, detail-oriented head chef in a chi-chi restaurant. For her, everything has its proper place. Martha’s life becomes marginally more complicated when she takes charge of her orphaned, 8-year-old niece Lina (Maxime Foerste), who has come to live with her. Things really heat up in the kitchen, though, when the restaurant’s new sous chef turns out to be a laid-back, eccentric and eventually hot-blooded Italian named Mario (Sergio Castellitto)—he is everything that the buttoned-down Martha is not. You’ll be able to guess the results of this recipe long before the movie’s end, but it goes down like a light, delicious crepe.

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