THE BLOG
03/03/2015 10:26 GMT | Updated 02/05/2015 06:59 BST

'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' - The Review

What happens if you mix classic British sitcom Waiting For God with Slumdog Millionaire? You get a bittersweet comedy with a Bollywood feel, aka The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Those key elements helped rinse many a pensioner of their grey pounds, dollars and the like a few years ago. (I remember one of the workers at a Florida theme park raving over that movie, so I knew it had universal appeal).

It helps that the cast is a Who's Who of top drawer talent, including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton and Ronald Pickup.

If there's safety in numbers, then director John Madden spinning the assorted plates of Ol Parker's script was well insulated in case any smashed.

Thankfully they all revolved marvellously while resounding with the masses.

It didn't take a genius to realise the cream of British and Bollywood talent united to tackle the vastly under appreciated seasoned viewer market would leave cash tills ringing.

All of which geriatric preamble brings us to the bravely titled Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a movie which some may see as a cynical attempt to cash in on a sleeper hit, but as someone who didn't see the first movie, I found to be an engaging, good looking, beautifully acted tribute to that amazing ensemble.

It didn't matter a jot that I didn't know most of the characters or the setting. Some of the wafer-thin plot lines were as diaphanous as a sari on a summer washing line, but the thesps generate a swell of goodwill, so little wonder the movie surfed that wave even if there were a few holes in the board.

Richard Gere's inclusion as the 'is he or isn't he?' hotel inspector Guy (not that one) Chambers added the obligatory American appeal lacking from movie one. Dev Patel shone once more as Sonny, the young entrepreneur driving the movie forward with his endless optimism while concerned about his perfect brother's interest in his gorgeous fiancée. David Strathairn, Tamsin Greig and Lillete Dubey added solid support to the by-the-numbers proceedings.

The whole thing is lighter than candy floss, just as colourful and while it may not linger long in the memory, for its duration, this ticks over nicely and sustains the interest.

Check (it) out.