6.7/10
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115 user 158 critic

Last Chance Harvey (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 16 January 2009 (USA)
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2:30 | Trailer

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In London for his daughter's wedding, a rumpled man finds his romantic spirits lifted by a new woman in his life.

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Maggie
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Tim Howar ...
Johnnie (as Timothy Howar)
Wendy Mae Brown ...
Aggie
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Oonagh
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Matt
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Scott (as Daniel LaPaine)
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Simon
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Josh Hillman
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Peter Turner
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Storyline

Harvey Shine is in London for the weekend for his daughter's wedding. His work in New York preoccupies him: he writes music for ads, and he knows his boss is pushing him aside for younger talent. With family he's also on the sidelines - long divorced, his wife remarried, her husband closer to his daughter than he. His path crosses that of Kate Walker, unmarried, her life becoming that of a spinster, set up by friends on blind dates leading nowhere. After Harvey's no good terrible day, he chats Kate up at a Heathrow bar. She's not interested. Where can this conversation lead? Back at his daughter's reception, the step-father rises to give a toast. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When it comes to love, is it ever too late to take a chance? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tu última oportunidad  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$97,260 (USA) (26 December 2008)

Gross:

£1,769,174 (UK) (19 June 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2007 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »

Goofs

The day Harvey met Kate, it's autumn everywhere. When she tells him to go to the wedding reception, he asks her the time and she says it's 7pm however it is still daylight. This is unusual for London where sunset is around half past 6 in the autumn. At the end of the movie, when they are walking away on the south bank, the tree leaves are fully green. See more »

Quotes

Harvey Shine: [to waiter] Thank you.
[to Kate]
Harvey Shine: See? We're having together.
Kate Walker: No. We're having lunch next to each other.
Harvey Shine: Ah. By the way, Harvey - Harvey Shine.
Kate Walker: [shakes hand] Kate Walker. So, why aren't you at the wedding?
Harvey Shine: [notices vaccum] I knew there was something that was missing. I had to get back for work.
Kate Walker: What, for the job you just lost?
Harvey Shine: Yes, exactly.
Kate Walker: Did you enjoy it, the job?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the final credits there is one more scene added. See more »

Connections

References Peter's Friends (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

I Got Opinions
Written & Performed by Greg Johnson
Courtesy of Johnson Music America, LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Conventional Third Act Weighs Down a Leisurely Autumnal Romantic Yarn
31 May 2009 | by (San Francisco, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

At its best, this rather slight 2008 melding of comedy and drama reminds me of Ulu Grosbard's bittersweet "Falling in Love" (1984) in which Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep stumble into a romantic relationship constantly derailed by guilt and commuter train schedules. At its worst, this film - leisurely directed and written by Joel Hopkins - uses several well-worn cinematic conventions - including a familiar third-act plot device from a classic movie - and forces a predictable ending that is far from satisfying. On the upside, it certainly helps to have actors the caliber of Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson in the principal roles, although I have to admit I was not taken in by their characters' halting romance because the actors are simply not meshing in a convincing way. In fact, this movie ironically works better when the actors perform in separate scenes away from each other. The problem is that the elfin Hoffman just tries too hard to overcome Thompson's self-protective demeanor of disappointment.

The story focuses on Harvey Shine, a divorced jingle writer whose career seems to be waning in the face of more youthful talent. At the same time, his daughter Susan is getting married in England, so he is anxious to offset his professional disappointments with a family reunion he really needs. However, their estrangement turns out to be deeper than expected since Susan tells him that she has already asked her rugged, engaging stepfather to give her away at the wedding. When he concludes that it is he who has become the family outsider, he meets Kate Walker, an airport employee who has the thankless task of surveying passengers coming off their flights. She also happens to be a lonely spinster who lives near her paranoid mother and finds the prospect of another failed blind date excruciating. Kate and Harvey meet-cute at a Heathrow lounge at their lowest emotional points, and they start to bond over long walks along London's South Bank. She convinces him to go to Susan's reception, and he agrees only if Kate becomes his date. The rest of the plot follows the story arc you would expect.

In perhaps a conscious move, Hoffman seems to be channeling a bit of Benjamin Braddock's schlubby, obsessive nature in "The Graduate" over forty years later. He is at his best when we feel Harvey's rejection in isolation, but the assertive approach the 71-year-old actor takes in courting Kate is challenging to embrace. Thompson, on the other hand, is a pure joy as Kate because she plays against the grain of what could have been a victim character. She wears Kate's disappointment in such a convincingly objective manner that her moments of heartache attain greater resonance. Eileen Atkins and Kathy Baker have just a few scenes to bring their characters to life, Kate's dotty mother and Harvey's still-resentful ex-wife, respectively. London looks pretty inviting thanks to John de Borman's crisp cinematography, though Dickon Hinchliffe's tinkling music punctuates the proceedings excessively. The 2009 DVD contains a nice audio commentary track with Hoffman (recorded separately), Hopkins and a particularly acerbic Thompson. The sixteen-minute featurette reflects the same personalities in a standard making-of format, although both this and the theatrical trailer give away too much of the plot.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Age Difference Total Distraction!!! clarkv
A huge disappointment.. lindugh
The wedding toast Anaheim92807
The tune Harvey played at the beginning, and at the reception ocgiii
Place where Harvey and Kate agree to meet again? Silvia2007
Book Emma Thompson was reading ... mags_1962
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