REVIEW: The Best Exotic Seniors' Movie

There has been a slow trickle of movies made for and about older adults and seniors recently. These movies are a wonderful change of pace in that they depict this age group in leading romantic roles - a nice alternative from films of the past that showed the unpleasant side of aging and later life challenges.

Recently, I watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a low budget picture with major star attraction. The film is based on These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach and while it probably won’t win an Academy Award for best picture, it sure does leave you with a smile on your face.

Seven seniors facing a crossroads

The film looks at seven seniors facing a crossroads. One woman is left to pick up the pieces after discovering that her late husband’s mismanagement of their money has left her in a financial crisis; two lonely senior singletons set off in search of love and sex and an unhappily married couple are forced to re-evaluate their relationship and self identity after becoming bankrupt. There is also an embittered, socially isolated bigot and a well respected high court judge who finally decides to face his dark past.

This random group of mismatched travellers somehow get thrown together when they all wind up at the same rundown hotel in Rajasthan India. Amidst the backdrop of a loud, chaotic and vibrant India, they each learn how to cope with their personal issues which sets the stage for the next chapter in their lives.

The most surprising character

For me, the most surprising person is played by Tom Wilkinson. The character is a renowned figure in the legal world and viewers may be surprised at his story and the path he takes in the film. What is so refreshing is how matter-of-fact the character is about his personal life choices as an older man. When he is able to rid himself of shame and guilt, the end result is a beautiful and romantic emotional tragedy for the viewer.

The movie is full of optimism and passion. It’s about self discovery and understanding your true worth. It’s about facing obstacles and overcoming them. And it’s about finding love when you’ve given up all hope.

It doesn’t matter how old you are to relate to this film. Life throws curve balls and you need to figure out how to handle each mess that you find yourself in. On the bright side, you also need to celebrate your own victories, no matter how small.

Looking for love

We’re all looking for love and companionship. We all want to feel good about ourselves. We all seek companionship from lovers and friends. To feel loved, to belong, to feel valued and respected—these are things that we can sometimes lose along the way as we make our way through the world. But we continually seek them out because these are what make us human and bind us to others.

By Michele Cauch, Executive Director, SageHealth Network


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Have you seen any good movies for older adults lately? Share your favourites in a Comment below!

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