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Mr. Antonini, who lived in the house next to ours in Brooklyn, had a rejoinder for all life’s ailments. “You think you got problems?” he’d say with a querulous edge to his voice. “Wait till you get to my age, and I’ll show you some problems!” At this point Mr. Antonini’s son Denny would make his standard quip: “We ain’t there yet papa, for crying out loud.”

This little exchange came back to me in a Proustian rush, as it describes “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in a nutshell. The movie itself is a neat little piece of craftsmanship by John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love”), and assembles the iconic greats of the British acting world in a hotel in Jaipur.

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