Last Chance Harvey
- Director:Joel Hopkins
- Cast:Kathy Baker, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson
- Release Date:February 26, 2009
- Running time:93 minutes
- Film Worth:$10.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
“…a combination of sob story and romance…”
Last Chance Harvey is a combination of sob story and romance, with the emphasis heavily placed on the latter. Its limited appeal lies almost exclusively in the casting of the estimable Emma Thompson and, especially, the ageing but still remarkable Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman's uncanny flair for pathos and small but telling gestures has never left him, though meaty roles are largely a thing of the past.
The setting is London, and the city's landmark sights are exploited in cliched but seductive style. New York jingle writer and failed composer Harvey Shine (Hoffman) is having what could only be described as - and is, by him - "a shitty day". He's in town for the weekend to attend his daughter's wedding, but she cruelly informs him that she's decided to have her stepfather give her away. Harvey skips the reception but still misses his flight home, and is summarily sacked over the phone when he rings his boss. Such a succession of blows would of course rock anyone, but - despite his transparent attempts to look stoical - Harvey is a particularly awkward and vulnerable little guy. Not surprisingly, he decides to drown his sorrows.
So, to the (potential) love interest. In the airport bar, Harvey starts chatting with Kate Walker (Emma Thompson), a lonely but wary statistical researcher with more than her own fair share of problems - not the least of which is a chronically possessive mother who acts as a "human contraceptive". Harvey and Kate are intrigued by each other, and that's really what Last Chance Harvey is all about: not very much, in other words. It's wafer-thin and groaningly predictable, but it's also absurdly touching.