Last Chance Harvey
Dustin Hoffman embodied middle class Jewish 1960s rebellion as soon as he sullenly stepped onto an airport travelator in the opening scene of The Graduate. From the writer-director of 2001’s Jump Tomorrow, Joel Hopkins’ resurrection of sorts opens with Hoffman as the rather more crumpled Harvey Shine, a US businessman arriving at London’s Heathrow on a trip to his daughter’s wedding. Cue a lounge bar meeting with lovelorn but mother-dominated Kate Walker (Emma Thompson), which triggers drab rom-com shenanigans that surely only the most out-of-touch could find palatable.
Having just parted company with his job, Harvey’s ire is further raised by his daughter’s attachment to her new stepfather Brian (James Brolin), who is preferred for the ‘father of the bride’ duties. Encouraged by Kate’s advice, Harvey endeavours to win back his daughter’s affections, but ends up winning over Kate in the process.
This twee romance raises few laughs and offers a truly bizarre serial-killer subplot, which doesn’t fit the feyness of the project. Aiming to be a Before Sunrise/Before Sunset style meditation for oldies, Last Chance Harvey gets given maximum star wattage from Hoffman and Thompson, but their sanitised, tepid affair makes Brief Encounter look racier than Last Tango In Paris.
General release from Fri 5 Jun.