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Greetings from New Orleans. I’ve just spent the evening strolling around the French Quarter, which for those of you who have never been is something of a cross between Downtown Disney and the Innermost Circle of Hell.But most importantly, this afternoon I was at the Louisiana Theatre at the New Orleans Convention Center watching the final preparations for our Movies for Grownups Film Festival. It’s all part of AARP’s Life@50+ Member Event, which is drawing tens of thousands of folks …
By now you’ve probably heard of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the British retirees in India movie starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith (both 77), Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson. What you may not know is that the film, which cost about $10 million to make, has ticket sales approaching $100 million since opening earlier this month. Turns out that when you make movies that give talented older actors something to work with, you’ll attract older audiences.
The best gift grownup movie lovers have gotten so far this year is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the warm, funny, thoughtful story of seven British retirees who move to crowded, colorful Jaipur, India. They’re lured there by a brochure promising a life of inexpensive luxury at the titular hotel, but what they find is a run-down wreck of a place set amidst teeming crowds, abject poverty, and sometimes brutally primitive living conditions. For the Britons-played by Wilkinson, Judi Dench, …