Last Chance Harvey

( 14 )

Overview

A disastrous trip to London proves to have a silver lining for a middle-aged American jingle writer in this romantic slice-of-life drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Harvey Hoffman is about to lose his unfulfilling dead-end job writing jingles when he boards a plane to attend his daughter's wedding in London. He hasn't turned out a memorable tune in some time, and should Harvey fail to come up with something catchy during his trip overseas, he knows that his boss Richard Schiff is ready and willing ...
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Overview

A disastrous trip to London proves to have a silver lining for a middle-aged American jingle writer in this romantic slice-of-life drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Harvey Hoffman is about to lose his unfulfilling dead-end job writing jingles when he boards a plane to attend his daughter's wedding in London. He hasn't turned out a memorable tune in some time, and should Harvey fail to come up with something catchy during his trip overseas, he knows that his boss Richard Schiff is ready and willing to let him go. Upon arriving in London, Harvey is devastated to learn that his daughter Liane Balaban has opted to have her stepfather James Brolin walk her down the aisle instead of him. And things are about to get worse, too. Harvey realizes that he won't be able to suppress his sadness through the whole reception, and makes a quick getaway in hopes of catching a plane back home. Perhaps if he can attend an important meeting on Monday morning, his boss will have some sympathy and grant him a momentary reprieve. No such luck, however, because when Harvey misses the flight and calls his boss to explain, he is fired over the phone. Later, at the airport bar, Harvey is drowning his sorrows when he strikes up a conversation with no-nonsense Office of National Statistics employee Kate Thompson. Kate doesn't have much of a social life; most of her time outside of work is spent suffocating under the love of her smothering mother Eileen Atkins. She's just gotten through a humiliating string of blind dates, and something about Harvey's situation and demeanor strikes a sympathetic chord in the lonely civil servant. Likewise, Kate's intelligence and compassion prove unexpectedly invigorating to Harvey. Both Harvey and Kate had always assumed that love had passed them by -- could this middle-aged romance be the glimmer of a new beginning?
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Special Features

Disc 1: ; Widescreen presentation of the film; An Unconventional Love Story: The Making of Last Chance Harvey; Audio commentary with writer/director Joel Hopkins, Academy Award winners Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson; Theatrical trailer ; ; Disc 2: ; Full-frame presentation of feature film
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
With his bittersweet romantic comedy Last Chance Harvey, writer/director Joel Hopkins takes the famous line from Casablanca -- about the problems of two people not amounting to a hill of beans -- deeply to heart. Dustin Hoffman plays Harvey, a jingle writer, who flies to London for his estranged daughter's wedding just as he learns he will lose his job if he doesn't secure a big account. He's a nebbish, but he's so full of seething anger that he often lashes out at people with sarcastic verbal jabs that he invariably apologizes for, usually right after they leave his lips. One of his first victims after he lands in the U.K. is a customer service airline rep named Kate Walker Emma Thompson, who wants him to fill out a questionnaire. Because he's so keyed up to see his daughter, he blows Kate off with a terse "I'm tired." However, Harvey's dreams are crushed when he learns that he's staying in a different hotel than the wedding party, and when, during the rehearsal dinner, his daughter tells him that she wants her stepfather to give her away during the ceremony. While that disastrous evening transpires, Kate goes on a terrible blind date that ends when the guy runs into some friends and decides he'd much rather hang out with them. The next day, these two lonely souls meet again in an airport lounge. Bolstered by a stiff drink, he's eager to complain about his awful life, and, because she feels sympathy for his sad story, she listens. And thus begins the possibility of second chances for both of them. This is the kind of movie that lives or dies on the acting -- there's nothing new about the script, although it's a solid piece of writing, and the camerawork never calls attention to itself. Everything about the movie exists so that audiences can focus on the main characters' emotions, and Hoffman and Thompson are both such gifted naturalists that this very simple story goes down smoothly. The two of them are a great match -- her British reserve soothes his barely contained nervous energy, while his truthfulness opens her up. Sure, you could accuse the material of being remarkably insubstantial, especially for actors of this caliber, but if you take no pleasure from watching this pair of gifted performers work together, then you wouldn't be drawn to a movie like this in the first place. If the film were pitched at higher level of intensity -- if it promised great drama or riotous laughter -- then it would be an epic disappointment. But, because it remains steadfastly modest, Last Chance Harvey has enough low-key charm to satisfy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/5/2009
  • UPC: 013138001696
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Time: 1:33:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 22,196

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dustin Hoffman Harvey Shine
Emma Thompson Kate Walker
Kathy Baker Jean
James Brolin Brian
Eileen Atkins Maggie Walker
Liane Balaban Susan
Richard Schiff Marvin
Timothy Howar Johnnie
Wendy Mae Brown Aggie
Bronagh Gallagher Oonagh
Jeremy Sheffield Matt
Daniel Lapaine Scott
Patrick Baladi Simon
Adam James Josh Hillman
Michael Landes Peter Turner
Jamie Sives Doctor Butler
Kate Harper Jill
Angela Griffin Melissa
Alex Avery Andrew
Tim Ahern Barry
Charlotte Lucas Gwen
Technical Credits
Joel Hopkins Director, Screenwriter
Francisco Alberto Makeup
Suzanne Austin Art Director
Neal Champion Special Effects Supervisor
Julie Dartnell Makeup
John DeBorman Cinematographer
Ali Farrell Casting
Elaine Grainger Casting
Jon Henson Production Designer
Jon Henson Production Designer
Michael Hill Musical Direction/Supervision
Dickon Hinchliffe Score Composer
Mark Holding Sound/Sound Designer
Jawal Nga Executive Producer
Tim Perell Producer
Laura Rosenthal Casting
Robin Sales Editor
Nicola Usborne Producer
Natalie Ward Costumes/Costume Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Last Chance Harvey: Widescreen Version
1. No More Chances/Main Title [6:42]
2. Lonely Arrival [7:34]
3. Awkward Introductions [4:00]
4. Nothing in Common [4:19]
5. Outside Looking In [8:04]
6. Heavy Traffic [3:06]
7. Lunch for Two [7:06]
8. Escorted to School [6:06]
9. Going As Friends [8:04]
10. Eloquent Toast [5:53]
11. Dance Partners [6:51]
12. Noon Rendezvous [4:48]
13. Irregular Heartbeats [3:12]
14. Harvey's Last Chance [4:51]
15. "I Think You're My Kind of Girl" [6:32]
16. End Credits [5:20]
Disc #2 -- Last Chance Harvey: Full Screen Version
1. No More Chances/Main Title [6:42]
2. Lonely Arrival [7:34]
3. Awkward Introductions [4:00]
4. Nothing in Common [4:19]
5. Outside Looking In [8:04]
6. Heavy Traffic [3:06]
7. Lunch for Two [7:06]
8. Escorted to School [6:06]
9. Going As Friends [8:04]
10. Eloquent Toast [5:53]
11. Dance Partners [6:51]
12. Noon Rendezvous [4:48]
13. Irregular Heartbeats [3:12]
14. Harvey's Last Chance [4:51]
15. "I Think You're My Kind of Girl" [6:32]
16. End Credits [5:20]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Last Chance Harvey: Widescreen Version
   Play
   Setup
      Audio: Dolby Surround 5.1
      Audio: Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Joel Hopkins, Academy Award Winners Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson
      Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Featurette
         An Unconventional Love Story: The Making of Last Chance Harvey
      Theatrical Trailer
      Also on DVD
         Mad Money
         Traitor
         Henry Poole Is Here
         Sunshine Cleaning
         The Visitor
         Crash
Disc #2 -- Last Chance Harvey: Full Screen Version
   Play
   Subtitles
      English for the Deaf and Hearing Immpaired
      Spanish
      None
   Scene Selections
   Also on DVD
      Mad Money
      Traitor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Unique for 2009

    A very good movie. Not only charming, but "sweetly" deep. You will not be able to resist loving, Emma and Dustin. This one is a keeper.
    Sue2well

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful!

    I really enjoyed this relaxing, loving movie. It was refreshing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Last Chance Harvey.

    Emma Thompson is great in this movie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    This is a charming film.

    Caught up in everyday life, this film delightfully points out what is, and is not, important. Emma Thompson's portrayal of her character does not disappoint, and together with Dustin Hoffman, they make a two-some we can all relate to in one way or another. It will leave you inwardly smiling and outwardly chuckling to yourself. Watching this film is a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon, or evening.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Chancing "Last Chance Harvey"

    "Last Chance Harvey" is a quiet gem that deserves our respect: because it's honest. It's not just a love story, but a life lesson in communicating & not giving up. Truth betold, loneliness is more frequent then not in life, and the effortless skill of Emma Thompson's quipy character Kate with heart, & Dustin Hoffman's schelpy Harvey whose heart persists, even though it's exhausted, renews our quest to keep reaching beyond the loneiness, no matter the age---and quit settling for disappointment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    This was a movie I had to buy, watched it twice in a row when it came out in video.

    This was great acting and an insightful script. Dustin was great for the part. I guess you could say it matched The Graduate with his character's position and sentiment only regarding late in life issues. It all was very touching, potent impressions and a touch of light humor to make it even more heart warming.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I adore this movie!!!

    This movie is one of my personal favorites! Both Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson deliver fantastic performances, and the script itself is just absolutely heartwarming! A must-have for any fan of these wonderful actors or a lover of happy endings!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dustin Hoffman!!! WOW!!!

    What a great play on family disfunction mixed with the work-a-holic parent. Leaves the viewer with many life questions. It would be great for a discussion group to explore relationships and the values one places on them in life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2010

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    Posted May 7, 2010

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    Posted June 2, 2009

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    Posted June 20, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews