July 18, 2018 - Written by: Nancy Pollard
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  1. I Hate Bad Remakes

mostlymarthapicfrombigotherThere is something about summer that prompts us to indulge in a little escapism. Books and films are the perfect havens, and in them we’re looking for less drama and more distraction.  But for myself, I’m still looking for a little meat, not just dessert.  There has to be a plausible plot line, some good editing and script writing. Perhaps you have already  been subjected to the film No Reservations – which was one of those unfortunate attempts in the US to remake the German film Mostly Martha into some cinematic goo for our citizenry.  As a nation of  good film creators, we should not have to resort to this. Still, reading through the comments from critics and viewers alike on Rotten Tomatoes almost makes having watched this cinematic rehash worthwhile. 


And Now For The Real Martha

So if you have not seen the original 2001 romantic comedy from writer-director Sandra Nettlebeck yet, you are in for a delicious distraction that has some meat on its bones. Ms. Nettlebeck has cleverly played Teutonic efficiency against Italian joie de vivre. The camera work is exquisite, musical selections from Manfred Eicher are delightful, and the performances from  Martina Gedeck  and Sergio Castellito are deliciously spot-on.  (If you have not seen some of their other films – here are some you should put in your queue: Gedeck in  the searing film The Life Of Others and Sergio Castellito   in  Don’t Move and Paris, Je T’aime). Mostly Martha should be on your list of top favorite food films. There were a couple of poignant revelations that I took away from the film: one was Martha’s niece, fearing that she would forget what her mother looked like, compulsively watching videos of her last vacation with her mom. Another was that even with a romantic ending, Martha’s neuroses still lodged quite comfortably in her mind.  Oh, and her panic attack looking at a messy kitchen still resonates with me. Little frisson of self-recognition there….

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