Last Chance Harvey

  • Directors: Joel Hopkins
  • Producers: Tim Perell, Nicola Usborne
  • Writers: Joel Hopkins
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker, James Brolin

The film follows in parallel two lonely people: Harvey (Dustin Hoffman) is an American commercial jingle writer, whose dream – long ago given up – was to be a jazz pianist, and whose unpalatable job is in jeopardy. Kate (Emma Thompson) is a single Londoner, cautious about romance after past disappointments, who works at a boring job collecting statistics at Heathrow Airport, and gets frequent calls from her neurotic mother and none from anybody else.

Harvey travels from New York to London for his daughter’s wedding, briefly encountering Kate and rather rudely refusing to fill her questionnaire. His daughter Susan (Liane Balaban) has a strained relationship with him, and when Harvey tells her that he will not be staying for the wedding reception because of work, she informs him that she has chosen to have her stepfather (James Brolin) walk her down the aisle. He attends the ceremony, then attempts to return to New York but misses his plane, then learns at Heathrow that he is being fired from his job. Drowning his sorrows at an airport bar, he meets Kate, initiating a conversation, which leads to lunch and then they stroll alongside the River Thames. They grow close and she convinces him to attend the wedding reception. He agrees, but only if she’ll come with him.

At the reception, Harvey redeems himself with his daughter and Kate begins to fall for him. They walk and talk until sunrise and then make a date to meet again at noon. Harvey is unable to make the meeting, however, and must track Kate down later to try to make amends.

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