Last Chance Harvey

By grace.g.yang · January 16, 2009
Under: My Life,Things to do in NYC

On Wednesday, my mom and I attended the Last Chance Harvey screening. Here is her review:

Last Chance Harvey is a sweet and tender romantic comedy movie about Kate and Harvey, two middle-aged strangers who were able to connect with each other and find love. Harvey (Dustin Hoffman), a socially awkward jingle composer based in New York, was on his way to attend his estranged daughter’s (Liane Balaban) wedding in London in the midst of a career crisis. Kate (Emma Thompson), a Heathrow airport poll taker, is a single woman in her 40’s that gave up on finding love and takes care of a needy cancer-surviving mother.

The story between Harvey and Kate begins at Heathrow when she approaches him to take a survey. Because Harvey was jet-lagged from his flight, he dismisses her and goes on his way to his hotel (he was not invited to stay in the house his ex-wife rented out for the wedding party). Kate and Harvey meet again because he was drinking his sorrows away at an airport lounge; Harvey was frustrated because he missed his flight back to NY to rescue his job, ended up being fired over the phone by his boss (Richard Schiff), and to top it off, had to watch his only child walk down the aisle and be given away by her suave stepfather (James Brolin). His re-encountering Kate sparked the initial connection and Harvey persisted to badger Kate until they begin a friendly conversation over lunch. They end up spending the entire day together; he walks her to her writing class and she convinces him to attend his daughter’s wedding ceremony (however, the only way he’ll show up at the ceremony is if Kate accompanies him). Things took a great turn for Harvey after he delivered a grace-saving and heart-felt father toast at the wedding reception. After staying up all night with Kate, Harvey requests that she meet him at noon the next day in a park they walk to at dawn. Predictably, Harvey does not show up due to heart problems (arrhythmia) – he lands in the hospital. Surprisingly, Harvey’s boss calls to attempt to rehire him; however, the call gives Harvey the courage and confidence to make his life-changing decision to stay in London and take his final chance of finding love (after finding Kate). Amazingly (or unbelievably), Kate did not walk away from Harvey after being stood up by him earlier in the day. Instead, after wiping away her tears, she gives Harvey the chance to explain why he didn’t show up at the park. Hence, Harvey got his last chance of love.

Last Chance Harvey tried to create a movie to bring a “realistic” grown-up story to the ever increasing population of baby boomers. It was a treat to watch Hoffman and Thompson interacting with each other since they both are strong and seasoned actors whose presence on the screen made the audience want to believe everything they said. It was a surprising delight to find a movie focusing on older movie goers and that gives hope of finding love after adulthood.

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