Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Dustin Hoffman as a romantic lead? Clark Gable must be saying, "There goes the neighborhood!" But yes, there IS on-screen magic between Hoffman's "Harvey" and Emma Thompson's "Kate," who finally collide-after several near misses--in a bar where each has come to take the edge off the crappy day they've just had.

Harvey, who creates jingles for commercials--but whose job is hanging by a thread--is in London to attend his daughter's wedding, which carries with it an encounter with his ex-wife and the next-in-line guy she's settled down with. Both his ex AND his daughter come off as real turds in the beginning--and that speaks to the level of estrangement that exists better than any flashbacks could. We immediately feel for Harvey, who seems like a decent but hapless sort who gets less respect than Rodney Dangerfield.

Kate is a lonely Londoner who is ripe for picking--even though romantic involvement is something she normally resists because, heaven forbid, it might make her feel like she's alive!
It appears that each of them might just have enough left in the tank for one more go at the romance game--IF they can survive the inevitable plot complications that are headed their way.

There's a cute little subplot involving Kate's seventy-something mom (or mum, we should say) and the sweaty new neighbor guy she's got the hots for...and mum's the word on the rest of this plot synopsis!

The music soundtrack by Dickon Hinchliffe (which can often make or break a film, in my opinion) is appropriately tender and sweet.

Last Chance Harvey hasn't gotten a whole lot of buzz, (but just like Elizabeth Perkins-- who thirty or forty years from now will be regarded as the Donna Reed of the 80's and 90's...she has that "certain something" that will be appreciated more by future generations) this movie will one day be thought of as one of the better representations of Hoffman's body of work.