Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last Chance Harvey

I've had Last Chance Harvey on my list of "to watch" films since January. The film was sweet and kind and about taking control of one's life. About second chances, I guess. Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) is on his way out as a jingle musician and is desperate to hold on to his job and avoid being supplanted by the younger talent. He's on his way to England for his daughter's wedding. Once he arrives it becomes obvious that he's also being overlooked in this regard. It's almost unbelievable to what extent Harvey is being excluded and ignored in the wedding celebration, from his isolated hotel stay to the seating at the rehearsal. He makes some bad choices that seem to make that isolation more justifiable, yet I found it all a bit much.

Kate Walker (Emma Thompson) cares for her mother who is convinced her Polish neighbor is up to no good (some of the more entertaining bits of the film, I thought). Kate works at the airport surveying travelers, she takes classes, and she allows her coworker to set her up on a tragic blind date. Her life is pretty stagnant and she is feeling it.

The story truly takes off when Harvey and Kate meet and while it's all very nice, it's also remarkably predictable. Of course, that is always aided by movie trailers that "overshare"... you know, all the best bits of the movie.

I wanted to love this film, but it was only "okay." It's not a must see, but more of a "why not"?


E. Louise said...

I saw this on a plane. I believed the wedding snubs, having been placed at the back of the room at my brother's wedding.
The original meet in the bar I didn't feel quite so convinced by. The movie plays into women's hopes that someone will actually pursue them.

Carm said...

Well, it wasn't the original meet, was it? After all, she approached him to do a survey, they nearly met while one was getting a cab, and then finally they meet up at the airport bar? Yes, some movies really like to lay it on thick with the "fated" relationship idea and the pursuit idea. The thing that seemed MOST realistic to me was the HORRID blind date she was on. Ugh. We felt as we watched this that the film was one romantic movie cliche after another stitched together to form this one. Not awful... not good.


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