For a romantic comedy, Mostly Martha isn’t what you might expect. For example, the main love in the film isn’t so much romantic as it is familial: the love a family for a child. It’s not exactly a new story but Mostly Martha does have some unique aspects.
Meet Martha, as portrayed by Martina Gedeck. She’s the uptight, stressed out head chef at a fine dining restaurant. After Martha’s sister is killed in a car crash, she takes in her 8 year old niece, Lina (Maxime Foerste). Clearly distraught, Lina doesn’t respond well to her new environment until Martha begins taking her to work. The child quickly bonds with Mario (Sergio Castellitto), an Italian cook that Martha thinks is competition but he’s adored as being talented and fun by their coworkers and — most importantly — the boss.
While the film’s acting is decent, Mostly Martha is depressing and then becomes wistful and sentimental. Apparently the filmmaker had a different definition of “romantic comedy.” While Martha does get a somewhat predictable love interest, the focus of the story is really on Martha and Lina. It finishes with nothing short of a Hollywood happy ending.