Released in 2008, Last Chance Harvey, the film, is about a man who
travels to London in order to attend the wedding of his daughter.
His not in very good spirits when he shows up, but the unexpected
arrival of a new woman in his own life helps him to see things from
a different perspective. He did not expect this to happen, but it
has come about anyway. The movie is designed to show his daughter's
love for her first husband and contrast it with Harvey's last chance
to find a real, true love of his own.
The movie follows the life of Harvey Shine. He is a man who is
disgruntled about his work. He writes music that is used in ads on
television. He has been doing this for a long time, and he can tell
now that his boss wants to get him out of the way so that some new
talent can come in, this in the form of younger writers. Since music
and ads both have to mirror culture, Harvey's age is seen as a
detractor; he is not in touch with what people in the modern age are
interested in and cannot write music that fits what they are feeling
and thinking. This, at least, is the thought of his boss.
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Harvey has also not had a lot of luck in his love life. He was
married once, which is why he has a daughter who is now getting
married, but he is divorced. This fact has led him to be a bit
bitter about the subject of love in general. It has also, naturally,
put a bit of strain on his relationship with his children. His
wife's new husband has actually managed to get fairly close to his
Harvey's daughter, a fact that he detests.
Harvey has tried dating to fix his problems, going on blind dates.
However, he has hated most of these. None of them have had much
promise; none of them have led him to fall in love again. While he
is in London for the wedding, however, he comes across Kate Walker,
a single woman, in a bar. He talks to her, and this represents his
All told, the movie has received mixed reviews. It stars Dustin
Hoffman and Emma Thompson, who people do tend to like. The acting is
what many people feel they can connect with, what really draws them
into the story. The meeting of the two different cultures is also
entertaining, with an American man and an English woman. The basic
complaint about the movie is just that it is very predictable. It is
a movie that has been made a hundred times with different actors.
Two people who have not been lucky in love and are growing bitter
meet each other on accident. Then, they fall in love. There is not
much originality in this, so the audience never really has a feeling
of suspense, of wondering what will happen in the end.
Copyright John Bandey 2010