Today is Pi Day (3.14.15). That means today isn’t just transcendental or irrational, it’s mathematical and there’s pie! That’s all the encouragement I needed to head to Lagniappe Cajun Creole restaurant in Marquette for a slice of delicious Mississippi Mud Pie that transcended all rational thoughts. I can’t wait to go back for the frog legs or jambalaya. http://marquettecajun.com/
As if the Pi wasn’t sweet enough to put me into diabetic coma, I went to see the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was like visiting old friends with a familiar comfort. I’ve been waiting for this film since the day I saw the original Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. And it was lovely and amusing.
This film allows viewers to reunite with the incredible cast and their charming characters, which made the first film such a hit. The action picks up a few months after the story in the first film ended, with the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel doing well, and some of its mature long-term residents beginning or contemplating new romantic relationships and even jobs in their new hometown of Jaipur, India
Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) are the highlight of the film for me and seeing their tentative romance unfold is a joy to watch. Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) also comes to the forefront of this film, providing her expected acerbic, hilarious one-liners but with the film also allowing you to see a softer side to her, which comes to a particularly emotional point at the film’s conclusion. Those three were the real highlights of the film, but the rest of the cast did just as brilliantly, especially the Indian cast who I’m glad to see had a lot more to do this time round. Lillete Dubey was wonderful as was Tina Desai and Seema Azmi. And although he caused quite a stir when the cast was announced, Richard Gere was fun to look at, however wasn’t a particularly exciting addition. Still, it was an amazing cast who all played their parts flawlessly, all bringing something different to the story. I don’t think anyone can really argue with that.
The story stays true to its characters, taking their journey forward in natural and meaningful ways with new conflicts to shake things up. A lot of the laughs are aimed at the ages of the hotel’s residents, but they’re in on the joke laughing at themselves while demonstrating what a life well-lived is about. The characters conversations shows common doubts and struggles while reflecting upon a lifetime of experience. (I must be aging myself because I felt the script carried some great lessons for a younger audience if they would make the effort to really listen.)
Honestly, Marigold isn’t a perfect, flawless film. Nor is it “ground-breaking” story-telling. However, I’m still going to recommend seeing it if you like romantic comedies. I just enjoy these movies and it’s pretty. It’s a gentle, harmless film filled with warmth and isn’t there to be picked apart for every little plot failing it may have. It’s there to be enjoyed and if you let yourself, you will. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, and it makes you reflect. It delivers the point of the film splendidly: that it’s never too late to love, to learn or to really live your life. That life can be an adventure at any age. That’s it. It’s all that you want and need it to be, a form of uplifting escapism.
I’d happily check in to a Third Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.