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Last Chance Harvey (2008)

tomatometer

71

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 153
Fresh: 108 | Rotten: 45

Last Chance Harvey is an above-average story that graduates to potent romantic drama based on the chemistry and charm of its top-notch performers.

73

Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 9

Last Chance Harvey is an above-average story that graduates to potent romantic drama based on the chemistry and charm of its top-notch performers.

audience

53

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 27,568

My Rating

Movie Info

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)

PG-13,

Drama, Romance

Joel Hopkins

May 5, 2009

$14.8M

Overture Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (153) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (108) | Rotten (45) | DVD (3)

Nimble dialogue, a brace of insightful moments and a slightly chocolate-box view of our city, lend 'Last Chance Harvey' a warmth and wisdom which outshine the more timeworn elements of the screenplay.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All this gloomy masochism is made palatable because of the performers. And yet we must ask: Is this any way to show off two of our finest actors?

January 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

These two actors are so strong that in the end we are left with a sweet and a tender movie.

January 20, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sure, it's predictable at times, and maybe even a little sappy, but overall it's a sweet movie about genuine human emotion.

January 20, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Watching Hoffman and Thompson tentatively discover each other is joyously tender.

January 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What's in it for Emma? And the answer is ... not much.

January 16, 2009 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To fully appreciate it, you need to be on playing-field level with Harvey and Kate. You need some miles on the love odometer.

September 28, 2011 Full Review Source: American Profile
American Profile

Decently avted by Hoffman and Thompson, this is a middlebrow, TV-like melodrama that goes out of its way to show the possibility of new romances and new beginnings at any age.

June 3, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Acaba conquistando graças à doçura de sua história e, principalmente, em função do carisma e do talento de seus sempre admiráveis protagonistas.

June 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

They don't often make romances like this, so tell your mum - or granny!

June 5, 2009
Heat Magazine

A delightful confection that leaves you with a great big smile of contentment.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

The problem lies in a sloppy screenplay and direction that's too slick to be credible. Added to that, while Thompson often makes acting look natural, Hoffman these days makes natural look like acting.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London | Comment (1)
This is London

Undemanding, observant and beautifully performed, this is Richard Curtis-lite with added reassurance: no challenging questions here.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Hoffman and Thompson prove you can never be too old to make memories and their romance is certainly one to remember.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4

Watching them dance effortlessly through this film is a reminder that two actors at the absolute top of their game can weave magic even in a slightly predictable example of a wholly formulaic genre.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

This bittersweet, autumnal heartwarmer about two middle-aged people getting a last chance at love and happiness exceeded my personal tolerance factor for gloop and gush - but not by too much.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK] | Comment (1)
Guardian [UK]

Last Chance Harvey is a funny little thing - a perfectly sincere July-to-September romance with barely an ounce of irony in its DNA, just a lot of optimism and good-humoured smiling. It's refreshing, in its unforced way.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

But while the film tilts progressively further towards the chick-flick (most notably with a cliché-of-clichés trying-on-dresses-to-music scene), some witty moments make this a high-living title in a low-rent market.

June 5, 2009
Little White Lies

Last Chance Harvey deserves supreme praise for being a vessel that allows cinemagoers to bask in two wonderful turns by Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

It's always nice to see pros at work. But while there's nothing wrong with unabashed fluff, you'd expect something more substantial from two such seasoned campaigners.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Hoffman's undimmed star power papers over the script cracks in an otherwise polished vehicle for his and Thompson's talents.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Last Chance Harvey is an absolute gem of a movie and the perfect antidote to all the big budget vehicles that are on release right now. Magical.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Heart 106.2
Heart 106.2

It fails to be as likeable, despite being beautifully acted by Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK] | Comments (2)
Daily Mail [UK]

While not the most believable of screen couples, the pair's acting chops mean you won't notice that too much while the plot chugs along at a reasonable pace, helped by some occasionally amusing gags.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

This good-natured London-set rom-com for the over-40s is delightfully performed and gently amusing, but it can't shake its need for schmaltz and sentimentality.

June 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Mirror [UK]
Sunday Mirror [UK]

Audience Reviews for Last Chance Harvey

Two of life's failures, convincingly portrayed by Hoffman and Thompson, collide in London to discover that perhaps they aren't such consummate failures after all. An actor's showcase, the leads are the workhorses that really sell this little intimate film about two people who are at the party but somehow not in it.
February 16, 2012
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

Last Chance Harvey is a charming, highly predictable, and impeccably acted vehicle for the charisma and chemistry of Hoffman and Thompson. Almost every scene rings truly to life, with a wry and melancholy empathy.

A sixty-ish man facing total family and career meltdown, and a fifty-something old maid who has given up on love is NOT promising fare for a wide, multi-generational audience. This film will likely only appeal to viewers who have need of progressive lenses. However, the sunny sincerity and touching human moments make this film work - mostly. Viewers will need to come to the film with modest expectations - it's a comedy with very few laughs (instead it provides mostly wistful smiles), and a romantic film with no sex or even sexual tension.

On the negative side, this film feels like it should have ended at the one hour mark when the family is reconciled at the wedding reception. It takes some artificial, convenient plot points like apparent heart attacks to stretch out the last half hour to any kind of complete film experience.

This film is worth seeing for the performances of Hoffman and Thompson and the sensitive and well observed 'slice of life' writing. .
November 2, 2011
Josh Morris

Super Reviewer

I actually thought this was going to be a very light, breezy comedy in the vein of Nancy Meyers, so imagine the disappointment when I find Last Chance Harvey is incredibly uncomfortable. Dustin Hoffman plays Harvey, a loser who's ignored and pushed aside at work and by his family, but he's a loser you can't root for or empathize with since he's so bitter and obnoxious. You even start to wonder if the world is just punishing him for his terrible attitude.

But director and writer Joel Hopkins is a clever guy. As soon as Emma Thompson enters the picture (literally), everything changes. The mood's lighter, funnier, warmer. That's certainly a nice touch that mirrors all that Harvey feels upon meeting Kate.

Last Chance Harvey also has a fantastic script and two incredible actors in the lead roles. Thompson is such an illuminating presence. I am a little biased, though; she reminds me of my mother. Hoffman's wedding speech is one of the most touching scenes I've seen in a long time. Eileen Atkins and Bronagh Gallagher are great in bit parts that offer comic relief.
June 20, 2011
At times it does start to feel like Last Chance Harvey is going to go over well charted territory and straight into cliche but it just manages to pull itself away. That and the fact its two main stars are Dustin Hoffman & Emma Thompson make it an instantly likable film. Likable but not amazing. I did find myself screaming at the TV a couple of times but it was mainly down to the terrible continuity. As they are walking along the river, they keep doubling back, one step forward, 50 steps back, surely even someone who is unfamiliar with London can see that, oh and Paddington station to the Southbank on foot does not take 5 minutes!!!! Rant over, this is a very sweet film that is worth checking out.
January 4, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

    1. Harvey Shine: Today is tomorrow.
    – Submitted by Debbie C (2 years ago)
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