This is what I had heard about “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” before I saw it: It’s a dramedy about a bunch of old English folks who go to India to retire. And Judi Dench is in it. And Tom Wilkinson. And Bill Nighy. And Maggie Smith. And it’s grossed over $100M worldwide ($109M as of right now, including $27M in the US). I was intrigued. And I’m glad I caught it in the theatre. Especially after the last two stinkers I wasted good money on: the mess of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and the even worse “The Avengers”: Yes, I hated it. Walked out. Not my cup of tea.
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” was my cup of tea. “Builder’s Tea” if you must. It’s by no means a perfect movie, but it definitely hit the spot. First of all, it’s funny. Honest funny, never silly or over the top. Second, it’s sweet but never saccharin. Well, except for a moment in the third act, but it earns the right to be saccharin by then: my butt was not moving from the seat. And third, the performances were brilliant. I feel like going out and making a movie with nothing but old people. I wanted to see more of all of them. Well, except for Dev Patel’s character, whose storyline was not up to par with the rest of the movie: but my butt still wasn’t moving from the seat. Take that “The Avengers”.
Alright, so it was a very enjoyable experience. Highly recommendable. But I’ve seen “smaller” films like this that I think are just as good and that don’t get anywhere close to grossing $100M+. So what gives? Well, I saw it the moment the lights came back on in the theatre and I was walking out: Old people. Middle aged people. Women. Lots of them. I smiled. Way to go “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. Hats off. I heard someone call you “The Avengers” for grown-ups. I wish they would have used a better title for the comparison, but I get it. I hope you break $200M. And I hope more funny, sweet, smart, grown-up movies like this get made.