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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Last Chance Harvey starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson

Director/Writer: Joel Hopkins
Running time: 100 minutes
Rated: PG-13

Movie Description: It's about first loves, last chances and everything in between.

Last Chance Harvey is a romantic/comedy/drama all about Harvey, his life and loves. Harvey (Dustin Hoffman) and Kate (Emma Thompson) had a real chemistry in this movie as strangers with more in common than they think.

Harvey is an end of the line commercial jingle writer and Kate is a survey take at Heathrow Airport in London. Harvey is on his way to his daughter's wedding when Kate stops him to take her survey. As rude Americans go, Harvey is too busy to answer her questions. He's tired and doesn't need to be bothered he explains, and Kate's replying quip is 'isn't everyone'. Harvey ignores her as if she were part of the furniture. Kate is use to being ignored, it's how she makes her way through life.

As, Harvey arrives at his hotel, he finds plans have been changed without his knowing, everyone excluding him is at a home rented by Jean (Kathy Baker) and Brian (James Brolin), his ex-wife and her husband for the wedding party, which he assumes will include him. He finds his new suit has been left with the anti-theft device still attached and has no way to remove it. He will look like an outcast at his daughter's own rehearsal dinner.

When Harvey arrives, he explains to his daughter Susan (Liane Balaban), that he must return to New York after the wedding, his job depends on it. Susan assures him that will be fine, that she has asked Brian to give her away, he doesn't need to stay. Harvey is shocked, dumbfounded, and spent. He has sacrificed everything to rush to London, where they insist on holding the wedding. Harvey has reached his breaking point, he is of little importance to his daughter which is just how his ex-wife likes it. As the nuptials are completed, Harvey slips away out of a rear exit. He rushes to Heathrow only to be told he has missed his flight. He calls his boss to explain and he's told not to come back. It's over.

Harvey hits depression, and heads to a local bar where he meets Kate, survey taker from the airport. Kate is as dismissive of him as he was of her, even though he tries to apologize. They compare days, and he of course wins on the worse day ever. Kate allows Harvey to buy dinner and agrees to a walk through downtown London, at least to her writing class. He waits for class to end and they share a soulful walk and she encourages him to return to the reception and claim his rightful place in the wedding party. He agrees to return if Kate will accompany him, and though she has misgivings, she agrees.

When they arrive at the reception, Susan is shocked to see her father. Jean hasn't even made seating arrangements for Harvey, and they are placed at the children's table. As Brian is about to make the bride's father speech, Harvey interrupts, he is Susan's father, he should be allowed to speak. Harvey makes a gracious speech including Jean and Brian, that brings tears to the eyes of everyone. He acknowledges his short comings and welcomes Scott. Kate tries to sneak away, but Harvey begs her not to leave. They spend the rest of evening and night together. They agree to meet the next day at noon by the fountains (Kate's favorite spot).

But as Harvey is making his way back to his hotel room, he has chest pains and is rushed to the hospital. He has a condition, arrhythmia, since childhood that causes an irregular heartbeat. He misses his rendezvous with Kate. Kate is devastated, she has been thrown away again. When Harvey is released from the hospital, his boss is phoning, the commercial they thought was all sown up as come apart because Harvey has been let go, they want him back. He says no, it's his last chance and he won't waste it. He tracks Kate down to her writing class where he waits and catches her explaining what has happened and begs her forgiveness. Kate doesn't know if she can allow herself to be wanted. And as the movie closes, they walk away into the sunset, chatting about life.

Last Chance Harvey is aptly titled in that not only is it Harvey's last chance, but Kate's as well. Neither knows love, but together, they can begin again, and have a second chance at happiness. There are no great love scenes, but it is a love story with a happy ending. One of the comedic elements in the movie is Kate's mother, Maggie (Eileen Atkins), who is in perpetual cell contact with Kate, sometimes at the most inopportune moments. Maggie is convinced that her new Polish neighbor is a mass murderer, only to find out he cures hams and is trying to meet the newly divorced woman. Kate is constantly distracted by her mom to the point of one word conversations. Harvey finds it all charming, even though Kate has problems with his attentions. Kate has been used and no longer thinks of herself as worthy of a man's attention. Harvey through all his bumblings manages to touch hearts and bring tears to the eyes. It truly is a love story and a second chance. If you missed it at theaters, the DVD will be released on May 5, 2009. Here's a peek at the trailer.



Dottie

8 comments:

Blanche said...

Hi Dottie!

I thought this looked like a really cute movie when it first came out, didn't see it though! I love Emma Thompson, love her in Harry Potter and I loved her as Nanny McPhee!! I'll keep an eye out for this one in May!! :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Blanche!

Me too, Emma Thompson is a favorite! Being a big fan of Harry Potter as well as Nanny McPhee, I thought this movie would be good. I wasn't so sure about Dustin Hoffman though, but he really made the movie. He was so sweet.

Dottie :)

Kristie (J) said...

I saw this one advertised on TV but then missed it when it came out. Thanks for the excellent review!! I've always liked Dustin Hoffman so I will definitely have to see this when it makes its way to video!!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Kristie!

I was just over visiting you! Loved your pet peeves. I really enjoyed the movie, and the funny thing was that it was my hubby's pick. I love Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, I hadn't seen him in a movie like this for a while, it was worth my time. The Polish neighbor was really funny too, especially when you see he's trying to get friendly with Mom.

Dottie :)

Barbara said...

Hey, Dottie!! Great movie review! I haven't seen this one, but I'm always down for new recommendations!!

Hope you're enjoying your week :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Barbara!!

I really enjoyed this one. It's been a long week and a longer weekend, we came down with the dreaded strep throat, I think I'm starting to feel it myself. Oh, well, when it rains.....and I have a busy week starting with Monday.

Hope you had a nice weekend and a great week to follow!

Dottie :)

Amy C said...

I've never heard of this one, but it looks good.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Amy!

I don't think it received a lot of air time, my hubby has an ad on Apples' website for and said he wanted to see, but it had already left theaters. It played again in Charleston, so we checked it out. It was pretty good.

Was the Rock's movie as good as it looks in the ads?

I hope this makes sense, my throat is killing me!!

Dottie :)

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