The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a two-hour long catnap, affable and picturesque enough to remain watchable between long, slow blinks, but also about as pointless and dull as a movie can get. Director John Madden and screenwriter Ol Parker spell out every dramatic problem and its obvious solution in the film's pre-credits sequence, and then they spend 122 minutes obstinately sticking to that plan, laying only the most hackneyed narrative roadblocks in the path. In one of the ensemble storylines, Judi Dench's hardnosed spinster and Bill Nighy's dizzy divorcee nurse an attraction to each other that they're afraid to act on. Will they conquer their fears and find love together? Um … yes. For all of the lip service paid to exploring new horizons, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a film designed for people who never want to be surprised or challenged again. D.B.