“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” is one of those rare oddities that shocks the media: a good script that is well directed and well acted. Because of this critics like Brooks Barnes of the New York Times gets all over it, proclaiming that Hollywood has a new discovery in a previously unseen audience: the over 50 crowd!
This happens every so often when suddenly a good movie comes out and people actually patronize their local theatres to go and see it. Mr. Barnes seems to have overlooked a major reason why Hollywood prefers superheros, animation, and alien invasions – MARKETING. It’s not just that younger audiences are willing to sit through sequels and buy more popcorn, it’s simply that Hollywood can make more money selling toys, games, software and a general wad of junk based on characters from these venues vs. higher end fare.
Don’t be fooled for a second that Hollywood has suddenly “discovered” that baby boomers will go to the movies if given half a chance. Heck, everyone would go with the promise of great quality films. But as long as money is the number one goal, don’t bet on things changing too soon in tinseltown. Yes, there will always be room for the occasional exception like Marigolds. The key word here is “exception.” “Marigolds” is fun, well acted, and it’s great that it brought out the crowds. But don’t believe for a second that it’s some kind of a new “trend setter.” My crystal ball says that baby boomers will not start suddenly attending their local cinemas in droves any time soon. Not, at least, until they make a Judi Dench doll as cute and sexy as Cary Fisher’s life-size Princess Leia.