British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.
Kay and Arnold are a middle-aged couple whose marriage has declined until they are now sleeping in separate rooms and barely interact in any meaningful loving way. Finally, Kay has had enough and finds a book by Dr. Feld which inspires her to sign them up for the Doctor's intense week long marriage counseling session. Although Arnold sees nothing wrong with their 30 year long marriage, he reluctantly agrees to go on the expensive excursion. What follows is an insightful experience as Dr. Feld manages to help the couple understand how they have emotionally drifted apart and what they can do to reignite their passion. Even with the Doctor's advice, Kay and Arnold find that renewing their marriage's fire is a daunting challenge for them both. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Steve Carell's character, Dr. Feld, uses a metaphor of fixing a deviated septum by breaking the nose. Meryl Streep has a deviated septum. See more »
When Kay is upset and walks through the rain, her hair is wet and a mess. When she walks into the bar she runs her hand through it quickly, and by the time she sits down (a matter of seconds) her hair is dry and all in place. See more »
The trailer and marketing campaign for this film is another instance of a collection of sound bites making a film seem like something that it is not. This is NOT a geriatric sex comedy. In fact, I would not even call it a comedy. There are some laughs, several smiles, but most of the time I was in tears. If you go there expecting laughs, you may be disappointed. I went there with such expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised and amazed.
I am about the same age as the couple, and I deal with divorcing couples every day. This film is so real and true-to-life, with no big fight or over-the-top scene, which is appropriate since so many marriages end as a result of a collection of little unintended cruelties becoming unbearable.
I cannot think of any film in which Tommy Lee Jones or Meryl Streep gave a more astonishing performance. Tommy Lee going to a couples therapy session run by Steve Carell? The perfect set-up for lots of laughs, but then we realize the situation is really not funny.
Imagine a film in which Steve Carell has absolutely no gags, routines or funny bits. Yet I can't imagine anyone doing that role better. He was in another film dealing (in part) with a relationship gone bad, "Crazy Stupid Love," which was a comic take (and a marvelous film). Trying to find another film for comparison, the closest that comes to mind is Bergman's "Scenes From A Marriage." But I think this film about the same general subject is much more accessible.
I would have given this film a 10, but the soundtrack of obvious songs to underscore the plot became somewhat distracting. The song most appropriate here (but not used) is "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be." The couple here would be from the same generation as Carly Simon.
I'm going back.
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