New on DVD: Last Chance Harvey


If within 24 hours you missed your plane, were fired from your job and your daughter told you she wants her step father to give her away at her wedding instead of you, what would you do with the next 24 hours?

Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) is a jingle composer in denial of the technological dominance of his industry. Determined to retain his position, he flies to London for his daughter's wedding, planning to leave directly after the ceremony to return for a meeting. When he fails to make it back in time, he's fired. While sulking, Harvey runs into Kate Walker (Emma Thompson) – a part-time student and airport employee with a mother obsessed with her overdue singleness. As Harvey aggressively pursues her, she finds it difficult to resist his charm.

Hoffman is well-suited to the dejected, charismatic lost character. He has "depressed man" down pat but can also be successfully charming. Thompson is effectively warm but somewhat skeptical. Her fear of being hurt by a relationship is always hovering under the surface of her responses and choices.

The tale is incredibly sweet and heart-warming. It’s a love story about two people that have given up on finding that special someone, feeling that their time has passed. When they cross paths, Kate finds it especially difficult to believe she could be in love after all this time. Meanwhile, Harvey is unwilling to lose it now that he’s found it.

The special features are a 16-minute featurette about the making of Last Chance Harvey, in which Hoffman and Thompson confess to portraying the characters as close to their real-life selves as possible, and an audio commentary with Hoffman, Thompson and writer/director Joel Hopkins.

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