DISCLAIMER: I did not see the popular 2011 crowd pleaser The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Audiences and most critics lapped it up for its reportedly sweet-natured story about a bunch of pensioners holidaying in a not so luxurious hotel in India.
But if the frequently amusing sequel is anything like the original, audiences will be satisfied with this frothy revisit.
Hotel owner Sonny’s (Dev Patel) dream to expand hits a couple of hurdles as his impending wedding draws near and the arrival of hotel inspector (or is he?) Guy (Richard Gere) throws things into a chaotic spin.
We catch up with (or meet, if you have not seen the first, like me) the developing relationship between Evelyn (Judi Dench) and Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Norman (Ronald Pickup) and Carol (Diana Hardcastle), as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible suitors.
The legendary Maggie Smith as the sassy Muriel Donnelly punctuates the story with hilarious one-liners, definite highlights.
This sweet, inoffensive comedy has moments of pathos as the script embraces old age and facing one’s mortality in their twilight years, something the youth-obsessed Hollywood tries incessantly to pretend is not a thing.
The cast is impeccable and the script often sharp, though with juggling so many characters, wrapping up all the subplots becomes a lengthy task in the final act.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the easygoing lightweight, painless to digest type of film that one usually snuggles up on the couch with on a Saturday night after a long week; and there is nothing wrong with that.