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Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) is in London for the weekend for his daughter Susan's (Liane Balaban's) wedding. His work in New York City preoccupies him: he writes music for ads, and he knows his boss Marvin (Richard Schiff) is pushing him aside for younger talent. With family, he's also on the sidelines - long divorced, his wife Jean (Kathy Baker) remarried, her husband Brian (James Brolin) is closer to his daughter than him. His path crosses that of Kate Walker (Dame Emma Thompson), 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 talks to Kate at a Heathrow bar. She's not interested. Where can this conversation lead? Back at his daughter's reception, Brian rises to give a toast.Written by
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 »
It's going to be a stretch for John Q. American to identify with Harvey Shine. He's a New York musician whose youthful ambition was to play jazz piano professionally, but his career has instead found him writing jingles for television ads. Which brings in plenty of money and sets up his family in that New York-to-London artistic social strata, where many of the dependents on such wealth regard it as a birthright... to go to the right schools, to have the right relationships, to know the right people, to be seen in the right society pages, and so on.
Harvey's wife Jean (Kathy Baker) and daughter Susan (Liane Balaban) do an excellent job of pegging out the superficiality meter... though toward the end of the movie they tone it down some.
For my complete review of this movie and for other movie and book reviews, please visit my site TheCoffeeCoaster.com.
Brian Wright Copyright 2009
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