After reading The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I went to see the movie. Both were interesting. Having read them close together, I was very aware of the differences. Book to film is something I always find fun to analyze. I immediately liked the beginning of the film better than Deborah Moggach’s book, although she’s a great writer and I love her stuff. The book started with a fairly long exposition of the troubles a daughter and son-in-law were having with her randy, flatulent, belching, selfish old dad, who in the film became a still randy old man but someone in search of love and companionship and a fairly attractive human being, very vulnerable. The beginning of the film? Well, think Canterbury Tales. Each character is introduced before they begin their journey together (not the flight to India but the journey in the hotel toward whatever peace or pain they are going to find in their final years). Although Chaucer’s pilgrims went on pilgrimage to holy shrines for expiation of sin (as well as a nice road trip, different food, and good company), the main sin of the pilgrims here and the reason for their residence at the Marigold was financial improvidence or other problems that left them unable to afford England. The movie is billed as dealing with the trials of old age but I think it’s more about how we allow or forbid cultures to change us, whether the cultures are foreign countries or different micro-cultures we encounter as we travel through life in our own countries. I loved a sentence that was repeated several times during the movie, especially by the endearing, ever optimistic young proprietor of the Marigold: Everything will be all right in the end and if it’s not all right, it’s not the end yet. I can live with that.