Last Chance Harvey, the second feature from writer-director Joel Hopkins (Jump Tomorrow), a meet-cute romance for the silver set starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, aims to attract the same filmgoers who made Something’s Gotta Give a hit back in 2003. Like any fairy tale, it assumes an audience who can identify with its characters, who can enjoy vicarious satisfaction when the unlikely comes true or when knots come magically untangled. But there’s a gap between pleasing and pandering to an audience, and one needn’t belong to that audience to smell the difference.
Hoffman and Thompson play characters that Hopkins’s script eagerly flags, for maximum turnaround, as lonesome losers. An old-fashioned jingle writer who obsesses over an Oxi-clean commercial while his weary superiors sharpen their downsizing knives, Harvey Shine (Hoffman) scampers from New York to London to attend his estranged daughter’s wedding as his career hangs in the balance. “There are no more chances, Harvey,” forewarns his superior (Richard Schiff), blaring the film’s thesis no less than five minutes into the film.
Click here to read the rest of Eric Hynes’s review of Last Chance Harvey.