THE SECOND EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

You can sum up THE SECOND EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL in one word, “Charming.” This feel good movie is billed as a sequel to THE EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL but it feels more like a continuation of the first movie as we follow the original actors as they continue to live in the hotel.

In fact, the first successful Exotic Marigold Hotel is full and hyperactive Sunny (played by Dev Patel) and the perpetually cranky Muriel Donnally (played by Dame Maggie Smith) search in America for funding to open a second hotel.

Besides wanting to open a new hotel, Sunny plans to marry his longtime girlfriend, Sunaina, (played Tina Desai). The course of true love never runs smooth, at least not in the movies, and this movie is no exception for Sunny and all the hotel’s occupants.

The British cast includes the wonderful Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup and Celia Imrie. They are phenomenal. British actors hone their skills in theatre and it shows in their marvelous performances.

American Richard Gere provides eye candy for the over 60 crowd. Mr. Gere has aged very well and had the women in the audience drooling in their popcorn.

THE SECOND EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is all about looking for love regardless of your age. The other message is that it is important to enjoy life and live your life to the fullest taking on new adventures and risks.

Most of the humor in the movie comes from cantankerous Maggie Smith. The scenes between her and Penelope Wilton will have “Downton Abbey” fans salivating and wishing for more.

The story by Ol Parker and John Madden is a little weak and drags in a few places but not so much that it detracts from the enjoyment of the film. Experienced British Director John Madden was at the helm of the FIRST and SECOND EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTELS.

The dancing at the conclusion of the movie was fun and energetic and the perfect way to end the movie.

If you loved THE EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL run, don’t walk, to THE SECOND EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL. You will love it.

The Telegraph’s contributing movie critic Mary Cox lives in Wood River and is a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Association, who also occasionally writes about film-related topics, studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals. She can be reached at mlcwriter@charter.net. Visit Mary’s website at www.mlcwriter.com.