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Last Chance Harvey (2008)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 16,452 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 112 user | 158 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Last Chance Harvey (2008)

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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:

It's about first loves, last chances and everything in between. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tu última oportunidad  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£640,390 (UK) (5 June 2009)

Gross:

£1,769,174 (UK) (19 June 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harvey's cell phone number in the movie is 9173845368. See more »

Goofs

During the wedding ceremony scene, Harvey's daughter is wearing a very casual beige dress, but later at the reception she is wearing a formal beaded wedding gown with ornaments in her hair. However, this is a common practice in British weddings: for each event the dress gets more formal. See more »

Quotes

Kate Walker: You - You just dive in there, don't you just, whoosh, anywhere, deep end. And I'm not, I'm not a bloody swimming pool Harvey.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Angela and Friends: Episode #1.14 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Modern Asia
Written & Performed by David Hubbard
Courtesy of DeWolfe Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Age Difference Total Distraction!!! clarkv
A huge disappointment.. lindugh
Emma Thompson in the fitting room. davidtraversa-1
The wedding toast Anaheim92807
Really enjoyed it, but it does commit a crime... goleafsgo27
The tune Harvey played at the beginning, and at the reception ocgiii
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