Friday, April 10, 2009

Last Chance Harvey (Rhaodes)

“Last Chance Harvey” Gets Lucky at Last

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Dustin Hoffman has gone full circle: In the beginning of his career he was “The Graduate,” the lucky kid seduced by Mrs. Robinson. Now, here he is, in his 70’s and can’t get a date.
Well, he kinda gets one in “Last Chance Harvey,” the sweet little romance that’s currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.

In this small movie that’s likely to get overlooked, he’s Harvey Shine, a jingle writer on the downside of his career, lonely, estranged from his family. Something of a loser, you might say. Then, while in London for his daughter’s wedding, he meets a nice single lady at Heathrow Airport named Kate (Emma Thompson, as it turns out) who happens to be lonely too.
Both are socially awkward – he an embarrassment to his family, she chained to an elderly mother. Not exactly catches either of them. But as the old saying goes, every pot has a lid.
After a chance conversation leads to lunch and then to spending the day together, Kate convinces Harvey to attend his daughter’s wedding reception (he’d planned on flying back to New York, because she’d asked her step-father instead of him to give her away).

Harvey reluctantly agrees, as long as Kate comes along. And next thing you know, life is looking up.

Yes, you could write the script blindfolded. But it’s not the oh-so-predictable story that wins you over; it’s the way Hoffman and Thompson handle their roles, with nuanced performances that show you the humanity of this not-as-odd-as-might-you-think couple.

Written and directed by British filmmaker Joel Hopkins, this movie seems to have been especially created with an audience of aging baby-boomers in mind.

No, this is not a mindless teen comedy or a hot twentysomething steamer. Rather it’s a gentle tale of love between two more-than-middle-aged characters. You’ll feel like you need to show an AARP card to buy a ticket. But if you’re 50-plus you’ll walk out of the theater with a smile on your face, pleased with the knowledge that there’s still romance left for senior citizens.
[from Solares Hill]

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