[Screen It]


(2002) (Martina Gedeck, Sergio Castellitto) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Minor Moderate Minor None
Mild None None None Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Mild Minor Heavy Moderate Minor

Drama: A perfectionist chef finds her world unraveling when she takes in her orphaned niece and is joined by another chef in her restaurant kitchen.
Martha Klein (MARTINA GEDECK) is the head chef at Lido, a chic German restaurant. Noted as much for her confrontational encounters with complaining customers as she is for her great dishes, Martha lives by herself and regularly sees a therapist (AUGUST ZIRNER) about her state of mind.

Her life changes when her sister is killed in an accident, essentially leaving that woman's eight-year-old daughter, Lina (MAXIME FOERSTE), orphaned. When the girl recovers from her injuries, Martha informs her of the bad news regarding her mother as well as the fact that Lina will have to come and live with her. Lina isn't happy about this, and wonders about her biological father, Giuseppe Lorenzo (DIEGO RIBON), an Italian man who's been out of the picture and whose whereabouts are unknown.

Not sure of how to raise a young girl and balance that with working, Martha asks her new downstairs neighbor, Sam (ULRICH THOMSEN), for help, and tries to figure out how to make the girl happy and/or eat. With Martha distracted at work and one of the cooks, Lea (KATJA STUDT), ready to have her baby at any moment, their boss, Frida (SIBYLLE CANONICA), has brought in Italian chef Mario (SERGIO CASTELLITTO) to help out.

Martha is furious since it's her kitchen and sees the jovial Mario not only as her competition, but also as her possible replacement. As the two try to get along in the kitchen, Martha tries to figure out what to do with Lina while searching for Giuseppe. By bringing the girl to work, Martha then sets into motion a series of events that will change her life forever.

Unless they're into cooking or are fans of German cinema, it doesn't seem very likely.
For thematic material and mild language.
  • MARTINA GEDECK plays a perfectionist chef whose work is her life and isn't happy that Mario has been added to her kitchen or that she must now care for Lina. She eventually has a change of heart toward both, although she occasionally has some setbacks and confrontational encounters with customers who complain about her cooking.
  • SERGIO CASTELLITTO plays another chef who joins Martha in her kitchen. Unlike her, he's jovial and tries to make both her and Lina happy.
  • MAXIME FOERSTE plays the young girl who has to live with her aunt after her mother is killed in an accident. Depressed and sullen at first, she eventually comes around, although she has her tense moments with Martha.
  • SIBYLLE CANONICA plays the restaurant owner who must put up with Martha's perfectionist ways and confrontational episodes with customers who complain about her cooking.
  • KATJA STUDT plays a pregnant cook in Martha's kitchen.
  • AUGUST ZIRNER plays the therapist who tries to help Martha set her life and priorities in order.
  • ULRICH THOMSEN plays Martha's new downstairs neighbor who occasionally helps her care for Lina.
  • DIEGO RIBON plays Lina's biological father who eventually - after being contacted - arrives to take her home with him to his family.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this German drama (with English subtitles) that's been rated PG. Profanity consists of a handful of expletives, while colorful phrases and some sexually related dialogue is also present. Some making out occurs and it's implied that the man then spends the night with the woman, but none of the latter is seen. The woman is seen, however, briefly walking around in her panties in unrelated moments.

    Tense family material involves a girl losing her mother in an unseen accident and then having to go and live with her aunt, resulting in some tense moments between them (with each slapping the other). That results in some brief bad attitudes between them, while others also have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    Meanwhile some characters drink and/or use wine and such in their cooking, while one woman briefly smokes. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • Martha mentions one of her dishes including port.
  • We see various bottles of liquor at the bar and then see some people drinking in the restaurant.
  • Various people drink wine in the restaurant and then do so again in a later scene.
  • Some wine is used in cooking.
  • Martha and Mario have wine with dinner.
  • Martha states that she tastes cognac and white wine in something that Mario has her sample.
  • Some people have wine at the restaurant and Martha then grabs a passing glass of it and drinks from it.
  • Mario has some wine.
  • Mario pours wine for various people at a gathering.
  • Lina has some scrapes on her face (from an unseen accident).
  • A customer complains about Martha's dish being undercooked (even after she explains it's the way it's supposed to be) and then becomes argumentative with the man.
  • Martha tells a white lie to Sam about forgetting something in her place.
  • Martha is not nice to Mario when he arrives, mainly because she thinks he's there to replace her.
  • With Lea going into labor while at a market, Martha then forgets to pick up Lina after school and Lina is then quite mad at her.
  • Martha learns that Lina has been skipping school (we don't see Lina actually doing it).
  • Lina says some mean things to Martha.
  • Martha is briefly mean to Mario while upset that Lina has left.
  • Martha aggressively confronts a complaining customer in the restaurant.
  • Mad at Martha, Lina runs across a busy street without looking, and Martha then chases her with both barely avoiding some cars.
  • None.
  • Phrases (in German with English subtitles): "I don't give a damn," "Nuts" (crazy), "Chick" (woman), "Jerk," "Bitch" (how Martha refers to a bad babysitter), "It was hell" and "Nutcase."
  • Martha learns that Lina has been skipping school (we don't see Lina actually doing it) and later discovers that she tried to run away from home (but we don't see the actual act either).
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • At least 1 slang term for breasts ("t*ts"), 3 damns, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 hell and 1 use of "Oh my God" as exclamations (in German with English subtitles).
  • A young female worker comments about a customer stating something about her putting on leather gear and letting a priest whip her (or something like that, and that the person is "barking up the wrong tree" with such comments). A male worker then jokingly states that what she does in her spare time. She then complains that if a customer stares at her "t*ts" again that will be it.
  • We briefly see Martha walking around in her panties in her place.
  • Martha and Mario passionately make out and it's somewhat implied that he spends the night at her place as he's then there the next morning for breakfast.
  • Martha shows some cleavage in a dress.
  • Martha smokes once, as does a miscellaneous person.
  • We hear that Sam is divorced with two kids.
  • Martha gets a telephone call that her sister has been killed in an accident, and that Lina is now essentially orphaned (since the father is out of the picture). Martha then has to give that news to Lina (who asks, "Is mom dead?") as well as that the 8-year-old will have to come and live with her.
  • With Lea going into labor while at a market, Martha then forgets to pick up Lina after school and Lina is then quite mad at her.
  • Later, Lina says some mean things to Martha and the two have a verbal fight, and in a later scene, Martha worries because Lina is missing.
  • Martha finds Lina watching old home movies of her and her mother, and Lina later states that she's starting to forget her mother.
  • Martha and Lina have a tearful goodbye when her biological father arrives to take her to his home in Italy.
  • Dealing with loss, especially that of a parent.
  • Cooking.
  • An unseen accident kills Lina's mother and injures the girl (we see her in the hospital with some scrapes).
  • Martha accidentally sets a towel in her apron on fire with a torch while making crème brulee and not paying attention to the torch.
  • Lina slaps Martha while mad at her and Martha slaps her back.

  • Reviewed August 15, 2002 / Posted August 23, 2002

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