Release Date: June 16th, 2009
Click here for the Last Chance Harvey Trailer.
Academy Award winners Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson star in Last Chance Harvey, a quaint, charming romantic comedy about finding love in unlikely circumstances.
Harvey shine(Hoffman) is just a guy living his life as best he can. Divorced and working as a jingle writer, Harvey has nothing more important in his life than his work. When his daughter decides to get married in London, Harvey begrudgingly goes. Wanting to leave London early for a job pitch, Harvey's boss tells him not to rush back, saying that they are going to go with one of the younger writers ideas. When he arrives in London, it becomes clear why Harvey was eager to leave. Thanks to his workaholic ways, Harvey has grown exceedingly apart from his daughter Susie(Liane Balaban). Feelings are awkward between Harvey and Susie, especially because whenever Susie tries to get close, Harvey is always interrupted by a phone call from work, further pushing away his daughter. It isn't until Susie tells Harvey that she wants her step-father, Brian(James Brolin), to walk her down the aisle and give her away that Harvey truly realizes the affect his lifestyle and priorities has taken on him and his daughter.
When Harvey misses his flight home for the job pitch, his boss(Richard Schiff) tells him that this was his last chance and fires him. Just fired and practically disowned by his daughter, Harvey is at the lowest point possible. While sitting in the airport bar, Harvey stumbles upon Kate(Emma Thompson), an airport survey giver who has her own problems with a failed romantic life and a mother who calls her 100 times a day trying to pry into every part of Kate's life. Some harsh words from a tipsy Harvey leads to an apology, the telling of their personal woes to each other, lunch, a walk around London and an unlikely romance. Harvey takes Kate to his daughter's wedding reception. When Brian starts to give the "father of the bride" toast, Harvey stands up and interjects. Being that he is, after all, the bride's actual father, Harvey wants to give the toast while a cautious crowd watches on. After a heart-felt and sincere toast, mixed with a little confession and apology from Harvey, the relationship between Harvey and Susie begins to mend. When Harvey makes a date with Kate for the following day, he unexpectedly has to be rushed to the hospital unbeknown to Kate, who thinks Harvey stood her up just like every other guy. But Harvey pursues Kate, because even though he missed the date, he knows that his whole experience is his last chance at happiness. Subdued by his quaint charm, Kate goes off with Harvey to live out their lives with each other.
From director Joel Hopkins, this movie is one of those hidden gems of film. It didn't have a lot of buzz surrounding it, no multi-million dollar budget, no big trailers to fuel a hype. What it did have was two great actors with wonderful chemistry, and sweet and innocent story, and an all around heart-warming feel that makes it a perfect movie to watch while curled up with your significant other. Dustin Hoffman is and always has been a fantastic actor and delivers a perfect performance inLast Chance Harvey. The character of Harvey is essentially a workaholic who really has nothing else in his life except his work and his failed dreams of becoming a Jazz pianist. However, you see a complete;y different side of Harvey when he is around Emma Thompson's character of Kate. When they are together, Hoffman's character turns from the depressed workaholic to a sweet, innocent, and gentle man. It is a classic depiction of puppy love when Hoffman and Thompson meet and interact with each other. The movie also does a good job of balancing drama, romance, and comedy. There are some great, sad scenes between Harvey and his daughter that really make you feel for Harvey, in large part due to Hoffman's acting. Writer/Director Joel Hopkins adds just the right amount of humor in the film, mainly with the character of Kate's mom, played by Eileen Atkins. The paranoid neuroticism of the mother adds that kick of comedy that gives the movie that added joy. But, the main point of this movie is the romantic aspect. An unlikely love story, the plot is wonderful. It just has this warm feel about it. The most important thing about a romance movie, however, is the chemistry between the two actors portraying the romantics. Well, needless to say the chemistry between Hoffman and Thompson was spot on. They both had this sort of shy awkwardness about them that made them a joy to see fall in love with each other.
Now, even though this movie isn't an award winning giant like the summer flicks coming out now, it is definitley worth you watching. It has a good story followed up by wonderful acting that just makes you smile. A perfect movie to watch for a date or if you are just in need of a smile.
I give Last Chance Harvey 7 Catchy Jingles out of 10.
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