‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold’ Hotel Review Roundup: Sequel Receives Lukewarm Notices
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel returns to Jaipur, India, with the charming group of senior British expats and their host, Sonny.
This time around, Sonny (Dev Patel) has it in his mind to expand the Marigold Hotel into a franchise with his unlikely business partner Mrs. Donnelly (Maggie Smith), while also preparing to marry Sunaina (Tina Desai). Romance may or may not be blooming between Evelyn (Judi Dench) and Douglas (Bill Nighy), as Norman (Ronald Pickup) and Carol (Diana Hardcastle) have already coupled up. And, new man in town Guy Chambers (Richard Gere) arrives to catch the eyes of the women and earn the suspicions of the men.
‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Reviews
The retread storyline of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has critics weary, though the sequel is buoyed by a number of stellar performances by its veteran cast members. Where the plot falls short, the acting is there to make the film enjoyable – though arguably not as enjoyable as its enchanting predecessor.
“The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is exactly that — second best. There are enough engaging moments to keep the new film from being a total bust — it stars the wonderful Judi Dench and Bill Nighy, after all, and an elegant, silver Richard Gere also makes an appearance. But you can’t shake the feeling the script is trying too hard to please, upping the drama despite the fact that what made the first film so enjoyable was its relative simplicity.” – Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
“Asked how she liked America upon her return to India, Mrs. Donnelly [Maggie Smith] dryly quips, “I went with low expectations and came back disappointed.” Such are the withering asides, delivered with lethal aim, that make The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel a fun, if fitfully amusing, diversion, despite being overlong and overloaded with mixed messages, misapprehensions and myriad predictable story lines.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“This is 50 shades of another sort of gray, and there’s a tremendous box-office appetite for it. Written by Ol Parker, Second Best offers little you couldn’t write yourself, but it does so with respectable level of craft. The appeal lies in the ensemble playing. I adore what Nighy can accomplish in the minimalist double-take department, just as I admire the key scene late in the film between Dench and Smith for its quiet simplicity.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
“While this breezy outing does feel very much like a sequel, with returning screenwriter Ol Parker throwing the usual obstacles and misunderstandings into the mix, the John Madden-directed dramedy is still a pleasant way to spend two hours. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel digs up complex issues — sex and death — but never gets too heavy-handed about them, and that’s refreshing.” – Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is currently in wide release.