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Back in 2012, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel proved that there is an audience out there for modestly budgeted, cleverly written movies that are not about aliens, robots, teenagers or mutants ... which all by itself is a pretty good business lesson for any marketer. The movie followed a group of British senior citizens who, for assorted financial and other reasons, moved to India to live out their days and found themselves finding new life in a rundown hotel. The cast - including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton - was terrific, the locale was interesting and the movie turned out to be charming.

And so, of course, there's a sequel. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel picks up the action (such as it is) some months after the conclusion of the first one, as the owner (Dev Patel) and one of his tenants (played by Maggie Smith in all her eye-rolling glory) are trying to expand the concept into a chain.

The new movie has a bunch of different plots woven together - there is a romance that goes upon the rocks, a romance that has trouble getting started, a character who finds unexpectedly finds herself in a new late-life career, and the possibility that a new guest (played by Richard Gere) is an undercover inspector for a hotel chain that may invest in the enterprise. I have to admit that the whole is less than a sum of the various parts, and that The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is largely a predictable affair, but that does not mean that it is without merit.

The thing is, actors like Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, and Gere give the movie a lot more vitality and heft than it deserves. Even the great David Strathairn, who essentially has two brief cameo appearances in the movie, is unexpectedly touching. They make it all look effortless, but you just know there are hundreds of years of experience going into the movie, and it just feels good. Not great, but good ... and there's something to be said for a movie that is not about aliens, robots, teenagers or mutants. I'll take my pleasures where and when I can find them.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

KC's View: