When it comes to being the second best in anything it is usually not a good thing. The reason why is simple, most people don’t remember the second best. Don’t believe me? Who was the second best team in Football last year? Who makes the second best pizza? And of course who is your second favorite writer after me? These are questions most can’t answer, and let us face it, if you can, you don’t really care. So with all that said naming your film “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” doesn’t set the bar too high,
In 2011 when the first film came out, there was a charm to it, a group of senior citizens who move from jolly England to India, where they meet a boy with a dream and a hotel. Funny things happened and things turned out well as most of the group made India their homes permanently. Now here we are three years later and everyone is happy, but that boy, Sonny (Dev Patel) is ready to expand, and purchase another hotel and name it “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, all he need is some investors to help with that dream. When Sonny returns to India, he has other things to deal with besides pursuing his dream; he is about to get married. Meanwhile Douglas (Bill Nighy) and Evelyn (Judi Dench) are trying to work out a way to tell each other they want to be together. You also have Carol (Diana Hardcastle) and Norman (Ronald Pickup) trying to be monogamous, and one doing better that the other. If all this wasn’t enough, Sonny is expecting a hotel inspector, and it is either Guy (Richard Gere) or a lady named Lavinia (Tamsin Greig), with all this going on this hotel sounds like more of a headache than exotic.
Now with my long rant about being the second best at anything, you might think you know where I land with this review. Before I tell you though, I want to say I was a fan of the first film, it had a warmth and feel to it that was just refreshing to watch. With a great cast and the right amount of humor and good feelings, it was easy to walk out satisfied. Now as for the second best, the charm is not gone completely, you just get smaller doses. Everyone seems to have a problem in this film, and although everything ends in a great dance sequence, but then again, doesn’t every film set in India end that way? It is hard to understand why the two films feel different since both writer Ol Parker and director John Madden are back, but maybe it is just that hard to capture that same magic twice. So if you are looking for that warm fuzzy feeling you got as you watched the first film, this is not quite the film for you, and just like in most cases, this second serving is a bit too much.