An ingratiating opposites-attract comedy cursed with an anticlimactic third act, “My Mother, My Bride and I” tells of a forlorn gas station proprietor who juggles his manipulative nurturer and a fiery Romanian mail-order mate. Deft comic interplay among the three leads will earn pic fest slots and tube berths, though theatrical’s a reach.
Alone in the countryside with his smothering mom (Monica Bleibtreu) and a tank of tropical fish, Erwin Kobarek (Matthias Brandt) screws up his courage and flies to Bucharest to meet with matchmaker Bogdana (Maia Morgenstern). From a group of finalists, he selects Irina (Maria Popistasu, who looks like a young Tracey Ullman). Back home, the stage is set for a showdown between two women with very different agendas. Gone is the Sturm und Drang of helmer Hans Steinbichler’s previous pic, “Winter Journey.” In its place is a light comedic touch anchored by Brandt’s mischievous expressiveness, Popistasu’s energy and Bleibtreu’s fearful matronly stares. When Mom takes ill at the hour mark, thesp-turned-screenwriter Robert Seethaler’s script is as surprised as anyone, and pic never recovers equilibrium. Tech credits are modest, with Christian Rein’s jiggly camera a distraction from the story.