Oh dear merciful Vishnu, they’ve made a sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The original, you may recall, was one of the worst-received films ever at the Who2 cinema desk:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, now playing in a fetid but colorful slum near you, proves one of two things: either Britain’s great older actors are so desperate for a role that they will grab any script, or it is impossible to make an interesting movie about people over 50.
Now The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is here to prove those same points, with similar results. Let’s compare a few lines from Who2’s original review to the new reviews of the sequel.
We said then: “Every star in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was assigned one [maudlin] nugget of wisdom. All kept a straight face while delivering their appointed nugget. That’s why you need old pros for a movie like this.”
They say now: “The pleasures to be gleaned from the sequel… derive from watching its eminent, mostly British cast ham it up while trying to inflate dramatic molehills into mountains. To get away with pretending that less is more, strenuous overacting is required.”
We said then: “Dev Patel is given a truly thankless role as the incompetent young dreamer who runs this terrible hotel. His stilted pidgin-English “I am welcoming you most grandly to this glorious hotel” dialogue would embarrass Apu on The Simpsons.”
They say now: “In the second Marigold, Mr. Patel has succumbed to his tendency toward cuteness. His performance is an increasingly tiresome display of sentimental slapstick and attempted scene stealing in which he evokes uncomfortable memories of Roberto Benigni running wild in Life Is Beautiful.”
We said then: “The plot certainly runs down the magic checklist: there’s a surprise death, a romance, Viagra jokes, diarrhea jokes, a gay character… and Judi Dench, god BLESS her, doing her warm-but-no-nonsense Judi Dench shtick.”
They say now: “There are ominous hints that one of the crusty crew will meet his or her maker by the end, surely a statistical likelihood given the median age of the assembly.”
Dame Judi Dench, after charming a local with her haggling prowess.
Speaking of Dame Judi: When she recently said “There’s nothing good about being my age,” was she talking about these films?
Here’s hoping the film has a hilarious scene spoofing his gravity-boot workout from American Gigolo. Suggested tart dialogue for Dench, as an elderly Gere fumbles hilariously to hoist himself upside-down and his sweat pants droop:
“We have an anti-gravity workout in this hotel already, thank you. It’s called ‘walking up six flights of stairs because the bloody lift is broken!'”
Please pay me $10,000 for this line of dialogue.
But if the filmmakers should be ashamed, nobody can really hold it against these great old actors if they jump at the chance for a “phoned-in cash grab” and a free trip to Jaipur. The first movie grossed $137 million, after all. No reason they shouldn’t plunge their wrinkled snouts into that trough. Age has its privileges.