The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel) is at hand, and it’s making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tina Desai). Sonny has his eye on a promising new property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy—posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may have all the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone’s secrets. As the demands of a traditional Indian wedding threaten to engulf them all, an unexpected way forward presents itself
“The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” hits on important themes in an entertaining way. One of the themes is a play on the old adage, “There’s no time like the present.” The words are reversed by a character into, “There is no present like time.” And for the many senior citizens who abide in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, that adage is especially important as time is indeed a present. Sonny (Dev Patel) manages the place and works closely with the elderly Mrs. Donnelly (Maggie Smith), who not only teaches him business strategies but genuinely cares about him. Sonny comes up with sayings such as, “No one is checking out until the ultimate check-out.” Sonny is engaged to Sunaina (Tina Desai) but sees a man named Kushal (Shazad Latif) as a rival, although Sunaina only sees him as a friend. When Kushal makes a deal on a hotel that Sonny had hoped to buy, his behavior becomes hard for those around him to tolerate.
Other scenarios feature Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Evelyn (Judi Dench), who have feelings for each other, but Evelyn is afraid to go forward in the relationship and become romantic. When Guy Chambers (Richard Gere) shows up, Sonny is certain he has come to rate his hotel. However, things take an unexpected twist when Guy falls for Sonny’s mother (Lillete Dubey). Other situations involve a woman who is having an affair because she thinks her husband is having one, but he’s not. They do, happily, make amends by the conclusion. The movie is about enjoying the gift of time and taking chances. And a second exotic hotel becomes a reality.
Although this film is an amusing comedic adventure to the exotic land of India, the content features strong language and we are therefore unable to award the movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.