Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

(USA, UK, 2015)

Gotta love the title. They could have just stuck a 2 on the end of the original title, but this one is a nice play on words. And I just learned that the full title of the original movie was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly & Beautiful. Now, why didn’t they use that one? Afraid of letting people in on the fact that this was a movie about old people? The cat was out of the bag on that one.

As sequels go, this one is pretty good. We did find ourselves wishing we had viewed the first one before seeing this, as we had forgotten many of the details. But it’s not really necessary to have seen the first one at all to enjoy this one. It’s a story without any bad guys, so the conflicts come from people doing dumb things, from misunderstandings that are resolved in the last ten minutes, and things like that. Dev Patel, who plays the most eager-beaver hustler (but a sincere hustler) in India, started off well when he was pitching his expansion idea to investors in Los Angeles, and then got a bit irritating when he got back home, at least to me. He behaved a little too much like an asshole, crossing an ethical line several times. But of course he sees the light before the end, and the wonderfully colorful marriage ceremony and Slumdog Millionaire-style mass dance scene comes off without a hitch. You get the impression that everyone, cast and crew, were having a wonderful time in India, and according to what I’ve read, that is exactly how it was.