catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 4, Num 2 :: 2005.01.28 — 2005.02.10


A satisfying story

In most movies about food, the chefs are the ones to bring life and joy to others through their exquisite food and the passion that fuels their cooking. This is somewhere between a fantasy and an ideal but has little to do with the day-to-day realities of running a restaurant or feeding a family, where the process easily becomes stale and repetitive.

Mostly Martha

is about the flipside, a chef who can deliver excellent food with precision but has little zest for life. Martha cares little for her customers or her co-workers but gets her way because of her enormous talent. But when she is faced with taking care of her niece, who can’t stand her cooking, she must learn to impress in other ways, awakening long-empty spaces in her heart. The movie is largely about the balance of cooking with the rest of life, and the result feels honest and hard-won.

It helps that Mostly Martha can’t be categorized strictly as a cooking movie, or a parenting movie, or a romance, although it has elements of each. It’s equal parts drama and comedy, inspirational and ordinary. It’s never made clear exactly what the title means, but I like to think it means that even at our best, we are only mostly there and never quite have it all together. If we do bring ourselves to the table and give joy to others, we are never so enriched that we can neglect to receive the same from others.

your comments

comments powered by Disqus