The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a fairly predictable feel-good movie about a group of exceptionally uninspired characters who, for various personal reasons, all end up at the titular Indian resort for the elderly. One is looking for his long-lost love (Wilkinson), one is recovering from the loss of a loved one (Dench), one couple is examining possible retirement homes (Nighy, Wilton), one Lothario (Pickup) and one gold-digger (Imrie) are looking for partners. Oh, and of course, one is a racist who actually has a heart of gold (Smith), shuttled off to a foreign country for reasons well beyond her control.
All in all, the movie is entertaining and enjoyable. It has its moments of laughter and bittersweet tenderness. And it ends with a particularly stirring image. But for all the tearjerking, it's a rather simple exercise in plotting and characterization. It feels more like a postcard of India filled with caricatures than a believable story. The characters simply don't feel realistic; they change the whole course of their life based on a few days in a foreign country. But unlike this movie, people don't actually change so dramatically after going on a vacation and being exposed to new and different ideas. Even people who realize that something needs to change in order for them to be happy don't do it willy-nilly. (And I still can't for the life of me figure out why the racist lady all of a sudden becomes un-racist.) It's fine as far as entertainment goes, but it doesn't feel like it holds much substance in the end.
IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1412386/