In 2011 director John Madden debuted a very profitable little indie dramedy called, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The charming little story followed a collection of aging goof balls who venture to India in hopes of a luxurious retirement. Instead, their greeted by a rambunctious and young entrepreneur named Sonny (Dev Patel), who slowly turns a not-so dreamy hotel into an iconic residence for the elderly.
Four years later and Madden returns with a slightly unexpected sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Sonny and his main confidant, Muriel (Maggie Smith), desire to expand their blossoming product all while a slick old friend named Kushal puts a damper in Sonny's wedding planning. It's a nice treat to see the old cast reunited, however the second go-around doesn't quite match its predecessor.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel attempts to get by on more of the same charm it demonstrated in the first installment, however weaker storylines and an over-extended cast generate a mounted running time that doesn't flow so smooth this time through. While the original certainly had a bit of hokiness to it, the sequel drowns itself in fairy-tale sentiment that ultimately runs its course. There are definitely a fair amount of laughs to ease the audience from start to finish, but cliche subplots reign supreme in this unnecessary follow-up from John Madden.