Representation matters, especially when we’re trying to change the perception of aging across the board.
However, it can be difficult to find films and shows that represent us Third Agers honestly. Thankfully, Hollywood seems to be catching up to changing trends and views on aging and has released some gems in the last few years.
Two of my favorites? “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” films.
These beautiful and heartwarming movies provide a refreshing and positive perspective on growing older. They show us a portrayal of aging that is both realistic and inspiring.
Directed by John Madden and with a star-studded cast that includes the likes of Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, and Bill Nighy, the films showcase how characters still lead vibrant lives, face new challenges, and find joy and fulfillment in their Third Age.
A Haven for the Young at Heart
In the first film, we’re introduced to a group of British retirees who embark on a journey to Jaipur, India, in search of an affordable and exotic place to retire. They all land at what they believe to be a newly restored hotel that is less luxurious than advertised, but it manages to make them fall in love with their new lives regardless.
One reason I love this movie? It shows that retirement and our Third Age can be a phase of life filled with opportunities for adventure, personal growth, and new beginnings.
Despite facing the inevitable challenges that come with growing older, the characters prove that life can be just as exciting in your senior years.
I particularly love how vibrant all of the characters are. They’re all proactive, curious individuals who embrace the new challenges and opportunities that have come their way with their move to an entirely new country.
For the characters in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” aging isn’t something to be feared but a catalyst for new experiences.
So Popular It Got a Sequel
The first film did so well financially and received such high praise for its portrayal of aging that it got a sequel.
In the sequel, “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” hotel owner Sonny works to expand his hotel dreams, prep for his marriage, and welcome two new people to his hotel – all with the help of newly hired co-manager Muriel (Maggie Smith).
The sequel further strengthens the positive view of aging of the first, with the characters navigating the ups and downs of life, love and relationships, and proving that age is just a number.
A Powerful and Uplifting View of Aging
If we want to change the way the world views aging, we must start with positive portrayals of the realities.
And those realities can include the celebration of wisdom and life experiences that we cultivate for ourselves in our Third Age!
While “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” films have been out for years, they’re well worth another look to see the way that they foster a greater appreciation for the positive aspects of aging.
Set aside some time, refresh (or watch for the first time), and enjoy the inspiration to embrace your journey through aging.