Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
|Featuring||Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Eileen Atkins, Kathy Baker, Liane Balaban, James Brolin, Richard Schiff, Tim Howard, Wendy Mae Brown, Bronagh Gallagher, Jeremy Sheffield, Daniel Lapaine, Patrick Baladi, Adam James, Michael Landes, Kate Harper, Jamie Sives, Angela Griffin, Alex Avery, Tim Ahern, Charlotte Lucas, Nadia Cameron-Blakey, Lauren Dennington, Craig Jackman, Adam Astill, Rhydian Jones, Andrea Harris, Vincent Brimble, Paul Haley, Gaia Wise, Amy Younger, Leslie Randall, Imogen Byron, Ginny Holder, Pascal Scott, Robert Jezek, Heather Bleasdale, Femi Oguns, Noah Marullo, Mark Kempner, Nick Cavaliere, Mickey Sumner|
|Producer||Overture Films, Process Productions, Jawal Nga, Tim Perell, Guy Tannahill, Nicola Usborne|
“It's never too late to fall in love.”
Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) may, at first, seem like an ordinary man. He composes commercial jingles for a living, in an industry that seems to appreciate his particular style less and less. He gets word that the higher up's of his company may want to phase him out, just as he's headed to London to attend his daughter's wedding. Everything about Harvey, from the way he holds himself to the way he directs and speaks to others is sad.
Simultaneously, we are exposed to the story of Kate Walker (Emma Thompson). A single, native Londoner, Kate spends her working hours surveying disgruntled passengers at Heathrow International airport, while spending her down time providing companionship and care for her needy mother. In ways entirely different, Kate's life too seems sad.
Harvey and Kate meet quite by chance, after several near miss encounters. Harvey feels broken, as though he's lost everything. As for Kate, she's just resigned herself to accepting that disappointment (and perhaps loneliness) is her path in life. Neither of them expected love…
Although a love story, Last Chance Harvey is, more so, a tale of redemption. It is a beautifully unfolding story about love in all areas of life—be it towards our children, our parents, friends, romantic interests or even ex-spouses. In some ways it's about maturing in your circumstances, as unfair as life may sometimes feel, accepting your own short comings and responsibilities and make the right decisions anyway.
At one point, Kate mentions having an abortion some years back. The scene is brief, and not a central theme in the story line, but the emotion that she feels about it is still very raw and moving. This scene truly stood out to me. Even in the best of films, we seem to always remember that we are watching a movie with actors paid to portray a character. When those performers, however, seem to go further and portray an element of human depth in such an honest and candid way—it is hard not to pause and consider what that very situation must have been like. Such scenes evoke an empathy in us, regardless of how brief the scene may have been.
In poignant, honest and sometimes suitably comical ways, this film can find a way to touch it's audience and draw them in. It's been a very long time since I've seen a simple, and yet moving and altogether sweet movie put out by Hollywood. It's refreshing. Aside from a moderate amount of profanity (most of it involving one scene where the same word is said half a dozen times—and a brief reading from a creative writing piece which seems to be about sex,) this film is pretty inoffensive. In good conscience, I feel that, although not suitable (or interesting, for that matter) for children, I can recommend this beautiful story to anyone in the mood for a sweet and touching film.
Violence: None / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.