There are times when the actors make the movie. This is one of those times. Last Chance Harvey has a fairly simple story that consists of a guy named Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) and a woman named Kate (Emma Thompson). Harvey goes to London for his daughter’s wedding. It feels like work has always controlled his life, and it has cost him his family. He’s made sacrifices, but is paying the consequences.
Kate is stuck at the airport asking flyers questions as soon as they get off the plane. Her mother is always calling nonstop because she is lonely too. The worst part of it is she is set up on blind dates that never turn out well. Never. So, after Harvey misses his plane, it costs him his job. By the way, his daughter wants her stepfather to give her away at her wedding. So on perhaps the worst day of his life, Harvey meets Kate.
It is the chemistry between Hoffman and Thompson that makes this film enjoyable to watch. Hoffman is a charming guy and brings that charm to the character of Harvey. He knows he has not been a great father, but he’s trying. Thompson always has this honesty about her. She comes across sweet, but rational. Of course, they were both blessed with a sense of humor, which certainly doesn’t hurt.
The story itself is a lot like the romantic comedies we see with a pretty cliched and predictable story. However, you find yourself paying more attention to what Hoffman and Thompson are doing and not worrying about how it will end. The performances are what saves Last Chance Harvey from being quickly forgettable.
Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association and the Southeastern Film Critics Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.