Nothing blows up (well, maybe a marriage), and there are no special effects. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel contains great British actors, a plot, dialogue, and a foreign setting. The movie is aimed for folks over fifty, and it's quite good. If you want a low key enjoyable two hours, then Hotel fits the bill. Basically we meet various seniors in transition. Judi Dench's husband has died, he left her in quite a bit of debt, and now she's at a loss as to what to do with her life. Bill Nighy's character and his wife lost money when they invested in a daughter's internet company. Retirement housing looks sad and small, and they aren't really happy after forty years of marriage. Tom Wilkinson's a lawyer who just up and retires one day. He's standing at someone else's retirement party and says, "No more. This is it.". Another woman is lonely and ready to meet someone her age to spend the rest of her life with. Maggie Smith needs a new hip.
So this all sounds grim, but they end up seeing an advertisement for the Exotic Marigold Hotel - a place for "beautiful seniors" and it's in India. Thus,they begin an adventure to a strange land. The hotel, run by Dev Patel, is a work in progress and a good metaphor for these people's lives. They are all a work in progress themselves. Slowly they either embrace India and its customs, food, and hub-bub, or they hide in their rooms complaining. Lots of funny lines and it's fun to see them mix it up. I can't say I'm going to zoom to India - it looks like a crazy country. But, the point of the movie is to step out of your comfort zone and keep living.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel skews old, but it's worth the trip. Book your ticket now to see the movie (if you are over fifty).
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