The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel tackles the very real problem of what retirees do when they retire and have very little money. In this movie, they move to India. But what is supposedly a funny film is really rather boring. Perhaps the biggest problem is that it is a bunch of Brits moving to India. They find a compound that clearly doesn’t live up to its hype. As they settle in to discover India, they try to reconnect with themselves and live life outside the rules they have set for themselves.
The British might find this film funnier than Americans due to differences in the sense of humor. Typical British comedies just don’t mix well with American audiences. Which is really sad for the film because it has a pretty good cast. There are certainly plenty of eccentric characters in British comedies. It is just too bad that this highlights the typical rather than the eccentric.
Of course, some, actually most, of the fault likely lies with the scriptwriters. Perhaps, if they had taken their material from the cast members themselves rather than the book then it might have turned out better. Instead, it was filled with mainly flat humor that failed to connect with American audiences. It is an expected fish-out-of-water reaction to a strange land and lacks any exploration of many of the changes the characters go through. Maybe, they simply had to tell too many stories. Perhaps, if they had cut down on the number of retirees, they might have had a better story.
So what’s good about this movie is that it was filmed in India. The background is real and not some built up set. It has nice scenery and does manage to capture the colors of India. That alone isn’t going to bring in the audience.
This movie is really not one I want to see again. Basically, it was boring and failed to be a comedy. Older groups of individuals might find in it a little more connection to the cast, but they probably won’t find it funny either.