Friday, January 23, 2009

I Gave Harvey A Chance

My last attempt to see “Last Chance Harvey” ended when I purchased tickets online and went to the wrong theatre. Luckily for me the theatre attendant took pity on my stupidity and let me see “The Wrestler” instead.

Well I finally saw “Last Chance Harvey” and unfortunately I have to give it a mixed review. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it.

It’s the story of Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) who travels to London for his daughter’s wedding. Once there he learns he’s being fired from his jingle writing job, and at the rehearsal dinner his daughter tells him that her stepfather will be giving her away. (What a bitch, huh?) He decides to forego the wedding and head home, but as luck would have it he misses his flight and ends up at an airport restaurant where he meets lonely heart Kate (Emma Thompson).

From there it’s pretty much predictable, though I have to say the chemistry between Hoffman and Thompson works wonderfully. There’s a beautiful scene where Hoffman plays piano and she sits beside him; two lonely hearts that have come together. These two pros say more with a look than some actors say with a whole script.

The film moves along nicely, though never achieving more than a slight sizzle, and therefore doesn’t elevate itself beyond a good cable TV movie.

It’s interesting to note that the song Hoffman plays on the piano he actually wrote. It’s called “Shoot The Breeze.” It had lyrics written by Bette Midler, and they performed it together on Midler’s television special “‘Ole Red Hair Is Back” in 1977. Their performance can be see on YouTube.

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