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Film Reviews 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
Starring
Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Bil Nighy and Richard Gere
Classification
PG
Country
USA
Language
English

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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