Saturday, August 4, 2012

10 Random Thoughts I Had While Watching "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" on DVD

1. I love how in a UK film, Judi Dench, 77, can be the love interest of Bill Nighy, 62, and the age difference is a non-issue in the script. (They play two of seven seniors who travel from the UK to India and experience a late-in-life reawakening.) If Shirley MacLaine, 78, and Jeff Bridges, 62, were costarring in a U.S. film, she'd no doubt have to play his mother!

2. "I'm gay -- more in theory than in practice," Tom Wilkinson's character (Graham) says to Judi Dench's (Evelyn) early on. Hmm... I guess there might be something to my brother's idea that you don't get the privilege of calling yourself "gay" if you aren't acting on your homosexual urges.

3. I wouldn't mind watching an entire movie devoted to Graham and his forbidden love. When will people who go around protesting "in defense of marriage" by quoting the Bible, the First Amendment, and the old-school definition of marriage get a clue -- or a life (so they can stop focusing on ours)? If you support denying gay relationships the same legal status as straight ones (and no, separate but equal will not do -- we've already seen how that turned out in the 1950s Deep South) while claiming not to have a problem with gay relationships in general, you are still sending young gay people the message that their relationships are less valid, inferior, somehow wrong. How is encouraging unhappy gay men to marry unhappy straight women and raise unhappy families preserving the so-called sanctity of marriage?

4. Poor Norman (Ronald Pickup's character). I totally get his pain, being twice as old as you feel. But the secret to aging gracefully while dating people half your age is A) Never try to make them think that you are, too (half your age, that is), and B) Don't go to them; let them come to you.

5. I know Judi Dench and Maggie Smith (costarring as Muriel, a retired housekeeper who, in tried-and-true Maggie fashion, still acts like the lady of every manor) have appeared on film and onstage together numerous times. But it still seems like such a waste to cast them both in the same movie and give them only a single one-on-one scene.

6. Celia Imrie (as Madge) looks awesome, even better now that she did back in the '90s when she was Edina's PR rival on Absolutely Fabulous. Watching her swinging grandma on the prowl for a single rich male makes me realize how much I miss seeing regular first-run episodes of Ab Fab.

7. They just don't name kids today like they used to: Douglas, Muriel, Graham, Norman, Madge and Evelyn, pronounced EVE (as in Adam's significant other)-lyn. How cool is that?

8. I could spend hours looking at close-ups of Sid Makkar, the actor playing Evelyn's boss and the brother of the girlfriend of Sonny, the hotel's young co-proprietor (Dev Patel). He looks like an Indian matinee idol, and he can act, too. It's a wonder why Hollywood isn't all over him.

9. Where is that big-screen version of The Golden Girls? The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a hit ($45 million domestically, $130 million internationally), so obviously there is an audience for movies starring actors who are thrice the age of those beautiful, f**ked-up Twilight kids. If the upcoming Dustin Hoffman-directed Quartet (starring Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly as retired opera singers) does well, we just might get our big-screen Golden Girls redux yet.

10. Should I start planning my trip to Jaipur, India now?
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