Find me another hotel

I seem to be the only person who dislikes The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

In my view, excellent actors, including Judi Dench do much better work than the script deserves.

I mean really. A died-in-the-wool racist played by Maggie Smith suddenly sees the light and gets all kindly? A gay man survives unscarred for decades in India’s homophobic culture? None of it makes sense, except perhaps as a slipshod fairytale.

Yes, the performers deliver. Dench’s character cries when she realizes that her life could have  been richer if she had been more honest with her husband, who is now dead. But the script tells us virtually nothing about that relationship; Dench makes the moment work all on her own.

And what about that weird bit of dialogue in which one of the women who has had sex with one of the elderly men crows that she substituted aspirins for his ED medication because she didn’t want the sex between them to “be like that.” What the hell is “like that” supposed to mean? Is sex that involves medication supposed to be less meaningful?

In my view, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel biggest triumph is that it has identified an underserved market. I wish it served that market with more intelligence.

About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.

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