Mostly Martha is a romantic comedy that brings up several issues of today’s society in Germany in a very subtle way. The main character Martha is a master chef in an upscale restaurant, but while she is great in her job, she is hopeless in relationships, be it with men, kids, her boss, or customers. Two people enter her life, which turns the order and perfection Martha strives for upside-down. Martha’s sister dies in a car accident, so Martha tries to take care of Lina – her sister’s eight-year-old daughter. At the same time, Martha’s boss hires another chef to help out; he, in turn, changes Martha’s and Lina’s lives with his presence.
Through the main characters this movie shows two cultures mixing in one. Interestingly enough the German side of it, portrayed as a severe, uptight, and controlling woman, is only happy, balanced and able to manage her life when she allows another culture to influence her life. This other culture is embodied in one Italian man, very fun-loving, carefree, and charming, who not only is great at cooking, but also is very good with children.
The film argues that German culture is only complemented by (as opposed to being destroyed by) the southern warmth of the Italian people. But then again this movie is about food, and we have numerous examples of how having all kinds of exotic foods at hand does not necessarily make for a more tolerant what German society. This film suggests that those with truly anti-immigrant sentiments should consider the ways diversity enriches relation, businesses and cultures.
by Katja Minitsenka
Genre(s): Comedy; Drama, Melodrama;
Theme(s): Food and Drink; Migration and Mobility;