I wasn’t that excited about going to our Cinema Society screening today. I love all the actors in the movie and director John Madden is the genius behind “Shakespeare in Love,” among other achievements, plus the reviews for the film were good (it opened yesterday in several U.S. markets), but the thought of sitting there for two hours to watch a comedy about a group of London sixtysomethings embarking on a new life in India didn’t thrill me.
Was I ever wrong. I adored this movie – seriously loved it.
Not only are the actors – Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel (from “Slumdog Millionaire”) – a revelation and the India backdrop practically a character of its own, but the script is first rate and I laughed and cried and everything in between.
After the movie, there was a reception for John Madden, who was extremely affable and entertaining. Also with him was the gorgeous young Indian actress, Tena Desae, whose first English-language film this was. She was thrilled to be in Santa Barbara (it’s been a beautiful sunny day here) and asked, “Is this whole place a resort?” “Sometimes it feels that way,” I said. I asked how she first heard about our little hamlet and she said she used to watch the soap opera “Santa Barbara” in Bombay! So funny.
Anyhow, I recommend the movie highly. I defy anyone – young or old – to walk out of the theater without smiling.