You’ve Gotta See This Movie!

New Beginnings and Second Chances

When I’m in Maine I try to catch a film at Reel Pizza Cinerama in Bar Harbor. It’s a neat little theater which shows Hollywood, art and independent films. What makes it special is that you can order a pizza on your way in, pick it up during the movie and,because most of the seats come with tables, you enjoy it at your seat.

This year I got to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s just out on DVD and really worth seeing. The acting alone is amazing. You’d recognize greats like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith and newcomers like Dev Patel (Slum Dog Millionaire).

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a story of second chances. The movie begins by introducing you to the central characters, senior citizens, who are experiencing different kinds of change: the sudden death of a partner, a colleague's retirement, financial devastation, physical problems, loneliness and sex deprivation. They end up traveling together to India, each with different goals and expectation but all with great hopes.

Unfortunately, when they get to the hotel, it’s an awful, dilapidated place. It seems that the proprietor, Sonny, is better at dreaming a big dream and promoting the dream than actually maintaining the hotel and managing the business. Still, the hotel is Sonny's chance to earn the respect of his girlfriend's family. It's also his deceased father's dream, and Sonny is desperately trying to keep it alive; his mother has her own ideas.

The fun of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is in watching how each character deals first with the circumstances that led him/her to the hotel and then to the new environment; they made me laugh. The jazz of the movie is in the way each life changes and each character evolves. That's what made me cry and also left me feeling wonderfully upbeat and inspired.

I can't wait to watch it again! I hope you see it too!