Monday, May 18, 2009

Last Chance Harvey (2008) PG 13 - 3½ Stars

They say there is someone out there in the world for everyone and sometimes you have to step out of yourself in order to find yourself. That's what Harvey does, when the rest of his life is falling apart and feeling pretty meaningless, he finds new hope in a chance meeting with fate.

Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) has always wanted to be a great jazz pianist. Instead, he's resorted to writing jingles for commercials. When he leaves work to travel to his daughter Susan's (Liane Balaban), wedding in London, he is told by his boss (Richard Schiff), to take more time as he will have the younger, fresher staff, take care of his account. But Harvey, vows to be back on Monday, feeling he is the only one who can land the account.

Once in London, Harvey just seems to be in an out of place environment. After checking into his hotel, he learns the rest of the wedding party has been housed in a very private and special home. He also gets the instructions wrong and buys a new white suit to wear to the rehearsal dinner where everyone else is in black. With the security anti-theft device firmly attached to his arm, Harvey makes the appearance at the dinner only to find out that he's been replaced at giving his daughter away, by her new stepfather Brian (James Brolin). Feeling like an outsider where he doesn't belong, he decides he will attend the wedding and return back home to continue with his jungles. But nothing seems to be going right for Harvey as he misses his plane and is forced to spend another night in London. When he calls his boss to explain why he won't be in on Monday, his boss fires him telling him he's basically a has been and no longer needed at his job.

Meanwhile, Kate Walker (Emma Thompson) is feeling like her live is going no where too. With her mother Maggie (Eileen Atkins), constantly calling her over her mysterious events of the neighbor, Kate is beginning to feel that she doesn't have much going on in her life. Even when her friends try and set her up, she still manages to come off like an outsider with little recognition. So she tries to loose herself by keeping her nose in romantic novels. After the wedding, Harvey returns to the airport to find he has missed the flight and can not get back to New York until the following day. So Harvey strolls up to the airport bar to start loosing his troubles in alcohol. Kate is there on her break and as Harvey pushes Kate to strike up a conversation, they find they both have had pretty miserable days and decide to find comfort in hearing how bad each others stories are. Realising they have been leading pretty empty lives, the two find true love and happiness at a time when they both need it the most.

Overture Films, Process Media
Director: Joel Hopkins
Writer: Joel Hopkins
Producers: Nicola Usborne, Tim Perell
I viewed 5/09

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