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Last Chance Harvey ()

directed by
featuring Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker, James Brolin, Eileen Atkins

A disastrous trip to London proves to have a silver lining for a middle-aged American jingle writer in this romantic slice-of-life drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Harvey (Hoffman) is about to lose his unfulfilling dead-end job writing jingles when he boards a plane to attend his daughter's wedding in London. He hasn't turned out a memorable tune in some time, and should Harvey fail to come up with something catchy during his trip overseas, he knows that his boss (Richard Schiff) is ready and willing to let him go. Upon arriving in London, Harvey is devastated to learn that his daughter (Liane Balaban) has opted to have her stepfather (James Brolin) walk her down the aisle instead of him. And things are about to get worse, too. Harvey realizes that he won't be able to suppress his sadness through the whole reception, and makes a quick getaway in hopes of catching a plane back home. Perhaps if he can attend an important meeting on Monday morning, his boss will have some sympathy and grant him a momentary reprieve. No such luck, however, because when Harvey misses the flight and calls his boss to explain, he is fired over the phone. Later, at the airport bar, Harvey is drowning his sorrows when he strikes up a conversation with no-nonsense Office of National Statistics employee Kate (Thompson). Kate doesn't have much of a social life; most of her time outside of work is spent suffocating under the love of her smothering mother (Eileen Atkins). She's just gotten through a humiliating string of blind dates, and something about Harvey's situation and demeanor strikes a sympathetic chord in the lonely civil servant. Likewise, Kate's intelligence and compassion prove unexpectedly invigorating to Harvey. Both Harvey and Kate had always assumed that love had passed them by -- could this middle-aged romance be the glimmer of a new beginning? Jason Buchanan, Rovi Hide synopsis

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Reviews of Last Chance Harvey

Overall customer rating: 4.500
1943dot

last chance harvey

by 1943dot on Apr 24, 2014

This is a rare gem in which none of the actors seem to be acting; it's relaxed & real, as are life's complications & the ultimate simplification of two mature lives. Great vehicle for the ensemble.

Sivvie

A thoroughly enjoyable film.

by Sivvie on Jan 17, 2010

One of the fresher romances, Last Chance Harvey is a winner from start to finish. Harvey Shine, divorced and about to attend the wedding of his daughter, lands in London feeling like a fish out of water, especially when he finds the step-dad is going to give the bride away. Things go from bad to worse: his pale linen suit looks creased and out of place among the dark, conservative ones at the pre-nuptial dinner ("You said white" he says to his ex-wife, a little embarrassed.) Just to turn the knife, there is still the 'klonky' security block attached to one sleeve, and he finds that he is very much out of the picture to do with the wedding honours. Meeting Kate Walker, 40-ish and the proverbial wallflower, he begins to relax, relishing her outspokenness and her sheer niceness. They attend the reception together and prevail, finishing the evening by falling in love. What makes this story delightful is the charisma of the two stars. Hoffman's gaze of admiration and attraction towards Kate is wonderful in its intensity and sexiness, and Emma Thompson (ever fresh and winning) slowly realises there is the chance of real love. It's a must for those who love romance and wry humour.

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