Amazon Holiday

Monday, December 29, 2008

Last Chance Harvey

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A divorced man (Dustin Hoffman) goes to London to see his daughter get married, and while he's there he loses his job, and finds out that his daughter wants her step-dad (James Brolin) to give her away. That's when he meets a lonely woman (Emma Thompson), and spends a romantic day with her.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Eileen Atkins, Kathy Bates, James Brolin, Liane Balaban, Richard Schiff, Daniel Lapaine, Bronagh Gallagher, Michael Landes

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketStop! You know how some movies put all the funny parts in the trailer? Well, this one puts all the entertaining, romantic, and remotely interesting parts in the trailer. Watch the trailer, and skip the rest.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: This is one of those movies where most of the comedy is in the awkward pauses where people don't say something. That is often my favorite kind of comedy-- and it's certainly the most highbrow kind. But it didn't work on me here.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: As boring as the movie is, Hoffman's speech to his daughter at her wedding did bring tears to my eyes. So at least they got one thing right.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: The two lead actors are nominated for Golden Globes in the Musical or Comedy category, but this film doesn't even deserve that amount of recognition. Hoffman and Thompson are great, because they're always great, but these roles are nothing of a stretch for either of them, and they should lose points for picking a movie so full of nothingness.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Every bit of life this film contains comes from the predictably perfect performances of Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. That said, the background performers are for the most part pretty terrible. They look like wanna-be actors who can't beleive they were sharing the frame with the likes of Dustin Hoffman, and the thought playing in their eyes is, "Look! There he is!" I probably shouldn't have been noticing the extras in the first place, and we can blame the director for that... or maybe we can blame the writer for causing me to be so bored that I would pay attention to the people walking by. As a compromise, I'll just blame them both, since it's the same guy anyway.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Directors are often judged on their taste in material, and in this case, Joel Hopkins proves that he's not to be trusted. If he couldn't get his hands on a stronger project then he should've made the writer develop this script into something that feels like more than a first draft based on a personal experience. Unfortunately, since he is the writer, he thinks his story is already perfect and has no way of seeing that it is completely underdeveloped . Hopefully for him, Harvey's last chance won't also be his.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: There is no conflict between the main characters. He asks if she wants to go on a walk, and she says yes. He asks if he can wait for her outside her class, and she says yes. He asks if she wants to go to a wedding, and she says yes. Because everything is so easy for them, all the romantic-comedy tricks that are supposed to keep them apart and build the tension so we think they might not come together, feel like stupid character choices that no real person would make. Meanwhile, all the parts where they're supposed to be getting to know each other are shown as musical montages of two people walking and talking, where you can't hear what they're saying. In the end we have no idea what it is they admire about each other besides that she's desperately lonely, and he's got nothing else going for him.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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