'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' - Movie Review

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" stars an impressive line-up of the best of Britain's older actors: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Tom Wilkinson, and Maggie Smith. It really doesn't get much better than that - or at least you would think it couldn't, but it could definitely be improved by a less clichéd script ... Interesting to see this was directed by John Madden, of "Shakespeare in Love" fame - too bad he didn't have Tom Stoppard write the screen play this time ...

The story finds seven recently retired British citizens all moving to India and settling in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," a crumbling colonial era building - lovely but run-down. Sonny (Dev Patel, a bit over-the-top but fairly entertaining) plays the young, charming and bombastic hotel owner under siege by his mother who doesn't agree with his business practices or his choice of would-be wife.

It's often charming - hard for it not to be with the abundance of brilliant actors on tap - but relies too much on the clichés of India, and occasionally over-plays them. While the actors aren't as well known, anyone interested in "India 101" should try the criminally overlooked "Outsourced," another fish-out-of-water comedy set in India that I felt was more accurate to the spirit of the country.