At a weak moment today I caved and paid money to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in a real live movie house. I took a seat on the end in the very last row and immediately regretted it, since the lady in front of me kept standing up to stretch her back and legs, which was distracting. I'm working on my tolerance issues, though, so for a time I tried to let it slide. I tried to remember what it's like for me to suffer through a concert in the seats at Carnegie Hall, and then I remembered that I stay away from Carnegie Hall for precisely that reason (knees). When the movie started I assumed she would stay seated, but nope, and when my empathy inevitably ran out I just moved up to a middle row. It felt like the path of least hostility and one I wouldn't regret later, unlike the embarrassing habit I have lately of blowing my fuse in the public square, and I managed to do it without acting even a little bit huffy, which is proof that I'm finally maturing. Namaste.
I wouldn't call this movie "the worst," nor was it successful, it was just... a diversion, I guess. Nice to get the walk in. Nice to see some faces. Support the troops. On a cinematic level it was like reaching the popcorn in the middle of the bag, after you've worked your way through the delicious buttery top layer but before you hit the kernels at the bottom, which is where you really start wondering what you're doing with your life. Bland, but better than eating an actual paper bag.
Most of the plots made zero sense; they were all weird little roundabouts of repetitive scenes with no forward motion. Why would you waste these actors that way? They're a precious species, you don't invite them over to a pool party just to make them tread water the whole time! Let them swim laps! Toss out some floaties! Serve piña coladas! Plus the whole gist of the enterprise is that these folks come here to lead vital lives that still have purpose and value, yet the storylines treat them all like daffy old bumblers who pause to contemplate their own mortality approximately every five minutes then get right back to bumbling. I did pay to see the first incarnation, of course, which had the exact same problems, so joke's on me for being some kind of starry-eyed miracle-expecter.
Richard Gere, though: still a fox.