Last Chance Harvey

2008, Romance, 1h 32m

159 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In London for his daughter's wedding, a struggling jingle-writer, Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman), misses his plane to New York, and thus loses his job. While drowning his sorrows in the airport pub, Harvey meets Kate (Emma Thompson), a British government worker stuck in an endless cycle of work, phone calls from her mother, and blind dates. A connection forms between the unhappy pair, who soon find themselves falling in love.

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Critic Reviews for Last Chance Harvey

Audience Reviews for Last Chance Harvey

  • Jan 05, 2014
    Often funny, effectively rendered, and resonating on a deep level with its characters, Last Chance Harvey is the rare romantic drama that offers something new. The story revolves around the seemingly hapless Harvey Shine who, upon his trip to London, encounters his increasing disconnect from his estranged daughter before losing his job, only to meet the witty and affable Kate Walker (played by Emma Thompson). It's a story that has a certain light sensibility, yet an execution which respects its material. The story itself certainly has familiar elements, and a predictable resolution. We are used to vulnerable characters, lonely characters, and yet hopefully stories of surprising love. Yet with Last Chance Harvey, director Joel Hopkins gives us a film that feels authentic to its premise. Its exploration of family estrangement is mature and restrained. He treats his characters with an intelligence and respect. The character arcs we witness feel real, the moments feel earned. This is certainly bolstered by the strong performances of both Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, both of whom have a palpable chemistry. Hoffman's character in a particular provides a nice departure from the normal male protagonist of similarly themed films, giving us a man of boldness, and not afraid to display his uncertainty. Thus, while the outcome is scarcely in question, the ride in getting there is often uncomfortable. We are entreated to characters of profound vulnerability, yet hopeful dispositions. We grow with the characters, and thus buy the film's outcome. The themes it touches on are both poignant and effective, painting us a story that stays with us. An overall very strong effort. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2013
    1 star for Dustin, 1 star for Emma, half a star for the pace & on a level of personal preference half a star for the setting.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2012
    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.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 02, 2011
    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. .
    Josh M Super Reviewer

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