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The Globe and Mail

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: First-rate cast to an unneeded sequel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the sequel to the 2012 hit about a group of British seniors retiring to a rundown hotel in Jaipur, India.

Laurie Sparham

2.5 out of 4 stars

Written by
Ol Parker
Directed by
John Madden
Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Bil Nighy and Richard Gere

This sequel to the 2012 surprise hit about a group of British seniors retiring to a rundown hotel in Jaipur, India, is a bit like a second linty mint delivered from the depths of your grandmom's cardigan pocket: sweet but, really, no need.

Once again, a first-rate cast helps slightly elevate this sentimental Britcom, led by Maggie Smith's wasp-tongued Muriel, who shares ownership of the hotel with motor-mouthed young Indian entrepreneur Sonny (Dev Patel).

The surfeit of subplots include Celia Imrie's manhunting Madge, the memory-impaired Bill Nighy mooning over Judi Dench's commitment-shy Evelyn. The central story, which feels adapted from a Fawlty Towers episode, sees Sonny fawning shamelessly over a handsome American visitor, Guy (Richard Gere), while mistreating his fiancée and other guests.

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Sonny believes the guest is really an undercover inspector whose positive assessment is key to financing a hotel sequel, a second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

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