03 February 2009

Last Chance Harvey

Last Chance Harvey is a slight if entertaining film with a host of flaws that just can't seem to keep it down. One of the most suprising things about the film is the ability to enjoy it. Most of that is due to its star duo, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, who do their best to play sad sacks for the first half of the film, as the script flits annoyingly back and forth between Harvey's journey to London for his daughter's wedding and Kate's feeble attempts at blind dates and dealing with a high-maintenance mother.

The forty-five minute collision course finally comes to an end and the movie heads in exactly the direction we knew it would. We suspend our disbelief at Kate's ability to put up with Harvey's pushy flirtations. We play along with the arbitrary twists of fate that conspire to keep Harvey and Kate apart. But we know they'll come together in the end. And that's okay.

I guess what works best about the film is the way it lovingly allows these things to happen, because after all, by this point in their lives the characters deserve some happiness. There are distractions and side trips, like Kate's mother's paranoia about her Polish neighbor, but the movie ends up where it should, and is almost cathartic in its conclusion.

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