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With the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel working so well, Sonny (Dev Patel) decides to expand his business and open a second one all the while preparing for his upcoming wedding to love of his life Sunaina. Of course things don’t go so easily for Sunny with the arrival of Kushal, an old friend of Sunaina’s, who causes trouble in their relationship as well as meddling in Sonny’s expansion plans. If that wasn’t enough the Hotel receives two new quests, one of which is a hotel inspector, but which one is it?

The story picks up 8 months on from where the first film ended and we find Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) tentatively figuring out their new relationship; Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and wealthy suitors; Muriel gets to grips with her new role as co-manager of the hotel; and Norman (Ronald Pickup) believes he may have accidentally hired a hitman to get rid of Carol (Diana Hardcastle). All that and the return of Douglas’ estranged wife Jean (Penelope Wilton) as well as two new hotel residents Lavinia (Tamsin Greig) and Guy (Richard Gere) work well together to make a brilliant film.

I only saw the first film a few weeks ago, and whilst I liked it, I think the second one was a whole lot better! The mix of characters keeps the film moving forwards and each individuals’ story ties in nicely with the others going on so there’s never any confusion as to what is happening. The cast are fantastic, made up of some of Britain’s finest acting greats, with the new additions of Tamsin Greig and Richard Gere to mix it up a little. The fact that this film includes so many actors of an older generation is brilliant, it is easy to overlook actors as they get older for younger, newer talent, but here the film shows their abilities off and reminds us that though they may be older they are still on top of their game. Of course it helps that this cast in particular include some of my favourite actors, though hearing Professor McGonagall/Violet Crawley with a Londoner’s accent will take some getting used too!

The script is both funny and moving – there are some very touching moments towards the end – as well as being very glamorous as we are taken through the processes of an Indian wedding and all the finery that comes with it! There are many laugh out loud moments, a lot from Celia Imrie’s character (in particular when she first claps eyes on Richard Gere: “Lordy lord have mercy on my ovaries”!) but the others will have you laughing throughout too as they get themselves into various predicaments!

Richard Gere and Tamsin Greig are brilliant as the new residents. Both of them are excellent actors, Richard having starred in two of my all time favourite films (Chicago and Pretty Woman) and gives this film some extra Hollywood stardust.

This is a wonderful film that all ages can enjoy – although my friends and I were by far the youngest in the cinema! – I think it would probably connect more with an older generation who may see similarities in themselves in the characters portrayed, but I still very much enjoyed it for what it is: a light-hearted feel good film.

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