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Last Chance Harvey (2008)

A movie directed by Joel Hopkins

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Honest and Touching, But No WOW Moments

  • Oct 2, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
Last Chance Harvey opens with Harvey Shine (Hoffman), an over-the-hill jingle writer who's about to lose his job. He's flying to London to his daughter Susan's wedding, but promises to return on time for a key meeting with a client. In London, Harvey quickly finds himself alone in a hotel while the rest of the family and guests, his estranged wife and her new husband included, rent a house in the city. He is awkward in his interactions with others, even Susan, making blunders at every turn and creating even more awkward silences. Harvey eventually works up the courage to tell Susan he will not be attending her reception in favor of flying back for the meeting, and Susan reveals that she asked her step-father to give her away at the wedding instead.

Londoner Kate (played by Emma Thompson)is an airport employee, surveying people as they de-plane. She is quite close to being called an "old maid", and her friends set her up on uncomfortable blind dates with guys who have little interest in her. Kate's and Harvey's paths intersect in an airport bar. Harvey misses his flight and finds out that he's been fired after all; he drowns his sorrows in shots next to Kate's who's reading with a glass of wine.

Harvey chats her up and they wind up spending the day together; Kate eventually convinces Harvey to attend Susan's reception, which she attends with him. Not surprisingly, Kate becomes Harvey's "last chance" at love and companionship, and their quirks somehow mesh together. Alone they are awkward and uncomfortable, but together they blossom.

I watched the trailer for Last Chance Harvey prior to seeing the movie, and the trailer summed it all up - there were no surprises in the movie itself. Last Chance Harvey presents a nice and heartfelt story, great acting and a lot of charm. I think the movie's crowning glory was Dustin Hoffman's portrayal of Harvey Shine, and the awkwardness he exuded on screen (unless of course he is that awkward in real life, which I wouldn't know). At times, I almost squirmed at Harvey's actions - refusing to shake hands, fumbling over toasts, walking into things, etc.

Last Chance Harvey was a good movie with a nice storyline, but there was nothing too memorable or worth discussing with others; it was just a way to pass the time.

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More Last Chance Harvey (2008) reviews
review by . June 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ Stars: First Loves, Second Chances And Maybe Everything In-Between....
I still hate romantic comedies but occasionally, I would try to see one just to keep my objectivities grounded. It is a good way to not become jaded with the types of movies I see, after all there is only too much action, fantasy and horror one can see in an extended period before one gets burned out. Heck, I may have just done this for a woman, but you never know. Anyway, Joel Hopkins’ “LAST CHANCE HARVEY” has one of the most likable actors in the person of Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie, …
review by . January 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
4 stars: Everyone deserves a second chance at love
Watching "Last Chance Harvey" I was washed over with the sudden memories of  such great romantic feelings that I had when I watched such romantic classics such as James Cameron's  "Titanic"(1997),  Michael Curtiz's "Casablanca"(1942), Jon Turtletaub's "While you were Sleeping"(1995). I felt the real authentic feelings o love between two people that I had not felt for some time, I had not felt the love, the emotion, the sensation …
Quick Tip by . April 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Sweet, romantic, endearing, charming, and utterly enchanting Joel Hopkins "Last Chance Harvey" is one of the most appealing romantic dramas I have seen in a very long time thanks to in part to wonderfully charming performances from Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman and a wonderful script from director/screenwriter Joel Hopkins. "Last Chance Harvey" is one of the most appealing romantic films you have the pleasure of seeing. This is an immensely appealing film, one of the most …
review by . August 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Taking Chances
   Harvey is a failed American husband, father, and musician who flies to London to attend the wedding of his only daughter. Kate is a lonely English woman who had spent her life playing it safe and expecting disappointment. When their paths happen to cross, Harvey strikes up a conversation with Kate, and they spend the rest of the day walking about London together. Kate is attracted to Harvey's simple, humorous chatting-up approach, and he likes her straightforwardness. Over the course …
review by . June 15, 2009
I must confess I am not biggest fan of romantic comedies in the realm of cinema. This is mainly due to the fact that in the past ten years (I feel) that romantic comedies all follow the same stereotypical formula:    - Young guy meets young girl.  - Both guy & girl are very superficial (to some degree).  - Both guy & girl are very materialistic (to some degree).  - Both guy & girl cannot act.  - The comedy is grossly pratfalls & physical …
review by . May 30, 2009
Admittedly, director Joel Hopkins wants to tell a love story about two life's-got-me-down individuals in his film "Last Chance Harvey" starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Without the added accoutrement of madcap comedy or the usual boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-wins-girl entanglements, he does manage to showcase two actors with some pleasant chemistry between them in a fairly realistic storyline that promenades to a satisfying conclusion.     Physically, Thompson …
review by . May 25, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Before Sunset meets An Affair to Remember meets As Time Goes By. All wonderful films / programs in their own right. Last Chance Harvey pulls some of the best bits of these into a charming love story. It's a very simple sweet ride to the finish. Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman are simply wonderful to watch in this film. Add some of the more beautiful cinematography in some time, a nice soundtrack, and this is a very good film.    After watching the DVD special featurette, it …
review by . June 15, 2009
Very slow movie throughout. The plot revolves around a man, Harvey (Dustin Hoffman), a jingle writer. He is about to lose his job and has a difficult relationship with his daughter. He travels to London to attend his daughter's wedding and meets Kate (Emma Thompson) who works for an airline conducting research. They experienced an unexpected and lovely romance. The movie is indeed lovely but so darn slow! Although the acting was amazing; actually, it was phenomenal, I was still falling asleep. I …
review by . June 10, 2009
THE MOVIE:    I give the movie 3.5 stars. It was a good movie -- certainly well-acted, and presented with an appropriate amount of emotion. It's about second-chances (or as the title indicates, last chances), and it's a love story about grown-up people.    SPECIAL FEATURES:    The special features earn 5 stars.     The featurette about the making of the film is short -- 16 minutes, but in it you learn that the film was …
review by . June 04, 2009
First, this out of the way: I'm not the target audience for this film. The target audience is single, middle-aged women, and some men, who still hold out hope of find that One True Love. Despite not being in the proper demographic, I rather liked thiis film.    "Last Chance Harvey" tells the story of an American jingle writer (Hoffman), and a British woman (Thompson), who meet each other in London. They don't have much of a Meet Cute, which is appreciated.    We …
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Vera ()
Ranked #219
Hello! My biggest hobby (or should I say obsession) is reading and reviewing books. I read pretty much everything; my quickly growing collections includes anything from historical biographies to popular … more
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Anyone who’s seen the trailer for Last Chance Harvey can easily guess how it ends. In fact, the title alone is a clue. But the destination is hardly the point with movies like this; it’s the journey that counts, and this one is pretty entertaining.

You could call director-writer Joel Hopkins’ film a romantic comedy, but it’s not especially robust in either of those departments. This is more of a character study, and veteran lead actors Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson are well up to the task of bringing theirs to life. Both are awkward, lonely, social misfits. Hoffman’s Harvey Shine is a bit of a schlub; his gig as a jingle composer in jeopardy, estranged from his ex-wife (Kathy Baker) and daughter (Liane Balaban), he flies to London for the latter’s wedding, only to have her tell him that she has chosen her step-father (James Brolin) rather than him to give her away.

Meanwhile, Kate Walker (Thompson) spends her days trying to survey harried travelers at Heathrow Airport, answering her meddling mother’s constant stream of cell phone calls, and awaiting the all-to-inevitable onset of spinsterhood. Harvey has already brushed her off once when, having put in a humiliating appearance at the wedding and missed his return flight to America, he runs into her in an airport bar.

What ensues--the initial repartee and sarcastic snarking, the gradual breaking of the ice, the burgeoning attraction, the complications and misunderstandings--is ...
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Details

Director: Joel Hopkins
DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009
Runtime: 93 minutes
Studio: Anchor Bay - ITN
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