Being a fan of Dustin Hoffman and admiring the work of Emma Thompson, I decided to finally watch the movie Last Chance Harvey, since it would be my opportunity to see them both together.
The movie is about a Hollywood commercial jingle writer named Harvey, who during troubling times in his career had to attend his daughter’s wedding in London. He risks everything to make it to London only to discover he is an outcast at his own daughter’s wedding. Disappointed and devastated he opts to return to Hollywood sooner than anticipated in order to salvage his career. Having failed at fatherhood and then at his career, he sits in a London airport bar drinking away his sorrows when a woman named Kate comes along and through their brief encounter helps Harvey gain the confidence to take control of his life and improve on his relations with his daughter.
Based on the recap above you would think this movie lasted about two hours and all the events took place through months of self discovery and the gumption to make the changes in his life. Not a chance, within the first 1/2 hour Harvey is threatened at work, flies to London, spends alone time in a hotel room awaiting the pre-wedding get together, then he arrives to an evening party in a creme colored suit, feeling out of place. He is then forced to sit at the end of the table to ensure he doesn’t embarrass anyone and then next day during the daytime ceremony as he watches his daughter being walked down the isle by the step-father, he decides to bids his daughter farewell and then attempts to leave London in order to get back to Los Angeles to work on saving his job (wow). The last half an hour or so is another quick run down of his encounter with Kate (Emma Thomspon), with whom there doesn’t seem to be ANY chemistry in my opinion, but nevertheless the director attempting to make us believe this odd couple would want to spend the rest of their lives together, opts to end the movie with a tacky last scene.
I must admit I did shed a tear or two during Hoffman’s toast speech at his daughter’s wedding reception but then the rest of the time, I was puzzled with the story because too much was left unsaid or unclearified. The movie felt more of a recap than a story but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. Cute is all I can think of to describe this movie and it doesn’t hurt to see it. It’s not a bad movie nor is it a good movie. So if you are a fan of Hoffman or Thompson, rent it.