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"LAST CHANCE HARVEY"
(2008) (Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate *None *Moderate Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Heavy Heavy None


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: A middle-aged woman and an older man become unlikely friends and possible lovers as they commiserate over their quiet lives of desperation.
PLOT:
Harvey Shine (DUSTIN HOFFMAN) is a divorced writer of commercial jingles whose best days are seemingly behind him, as his boss, Marvin (RICHARD SCHIFF), isn't sure of his future in the business. With that in mind, Harvey flies from New York to London for the marriage of his estranged daughter, Susan (LIANE BALABAN), to Scott (DANIEL LAPAINE).

Upon his arrival, however, Harvey finds himself the odd man out as the rest of the wedding party is staying in a house rented by his ex-wife, Jean (KATHY BAKER), and her new husband, Brian (JAMES BROLIN). Things get worse when a phone call informs him he's been fired, while Susan delivers a second whammy by telling him she's chosen Brian to give her away at the wedding rather than him.

Public Statistics Agency survey taker Kate Walker (EMMA THOMPSON) isn't having as bad of a day, but her life is also filled with despair. Single and unable to find the right man -- much to the chagrin of her coworkers Oonagh (BRONAGH GALLAGHER) and Aggie (WENDY MAE BROWN) -- Kate spends most of her time dealing with her elderly mother, Maggie (EILEEN ATKINS), both in person and constantly on the phone, especially about her neighbor of whom she's suspicious.

After a brief but terse meeting, Harvey later apologizes to Kate when they later run into each other. She initially wants nothing to do with him, but he lays on the charm and eventually breaks through her defenses. From that point on, the two hang out and commiserate, especially about his role in his daughter's marriage and life.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of anyone in the cast, it seems highly unlikely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DUSTIN HOFFMAN plays a commercial jingle composer who's having a bad day when he learns that he's been fired from his job and that his daughter has chosen her stepfather to give her away at her wedding rather than him. He drinks some, uses some profanity, and finds himself smitten with Kate, although his following her around borders on desperation and/or stalking (but is played lightly enough to lessen both).
  • EMMA THOMPSON plays a survey taker for a public stats agency who hasn't found happiness in her love life and must contend with her mother always calling her. She drinks some, uses profanity, and is reluctant to befriend Harvey, but does so and then some.
  • EILEEN ATKINS plays her elderly mother who's always calling her and thinks her neighbor is up to something that's not good.
  • KATHY BAKER plays Harvey's ex-wife who's now married to Brian and is happy about her daughter's pending wedding.
  • JAMES BROLIN plays her husband who's pretty much replaced Harvey as the father figure in Susan's life.
  • LIANE BALABAN plays Harvey's somewhat estranged adult daughter who's getting married, but has chosen her stepfather to give her away during the ceremony.
  • BRONAGH GALLAGHER and WENDY MAE BROWN play Kate's coworkers who are protective of her but also want her to find happiness in her love life.
  • RICHARD SCHIFF plays Harvey's boss who informs him that he's been fired. He uses some profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this dramedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 11 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered, and non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue is also present.

    Tense family material occurs in several scenes, and some thematic elements are present. Drinking occurs in various scenes, and some bad attitudes are present (and for those opposed to abortion, a woman admits having one in the past). A man appears to have a heart attack while climbing stairs, but is okay later.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Harvey has a drink on a plane due to his fear of flying.
  • Kate and Oonagh have wine, while miscellaneous people in the bar have drinks. We then see Oonagh's husband and Kate's blind date, Simon, with beer. Later, Simon asks if she wants another drink, and she says wine, but then doesn't have any. We later see Simon and his friends having drinks at that bar.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks at the wedding rehearsal.
  • People have wine and champagne at the rehearsal dinner, while Harvey has a drink at a bar by himself afterwards.
  • Harvey order a drink in an airport bar, downs it in one gulp, and orders another. Kate has wine, separately from him.
  • People have champagne at a wedding reception, including Harvey and Kate.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None, but a writer in Kate's writing class reads part of his passage that includes, "The blood oozes from his wound like dark chocolate on a warm summer's day."
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Harvey has a bit of a curt attitude (being tired) toward Kate when she stops to asks him if he'd like to take a survey upon landing at the airport.
  • Kate's blind date meets some friends at a bar and thus leaves her alone (she joins them, but feels she's the odd person out).
  • Kate states that she was pregnant once, didn't have it and didn't think twice about it, but now wonders what the child would have been like (those opposed to abortion will likely find that as a bad attitude).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • While climbing several flights of steps, Harvey collapses and grabs his chest, seemingly having a heart attack (we later learn it's just an irregular heartbeat and he's okay).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Nobody gives a sh*t," "You know how to make me feel like a piece of sh*t in thirty seconds," "Oh, sh*t," "I had a really sh*tty day," "Yours may have been sh*tty, but mine was sh*ttier, mine was major sh*tty," "How sh*tty?" "That took it to major sh*tty," "She is like human contraception," "Oh, shut up," "I am a cow," "Enjoy yourself you miserable cow," "Bloody" and "I'm gonna dance your socks off."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 11 uses of the "s" word, 1 slang term using breasts ("boob"), and 1 use each of "God," "Honest to God," "Jesus" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Oonagh, who's married, convinces Kate to go on a double date with her, adding that they'll drive her home, but then playfully/suggestively adds that depends on whose home she's going to.
  • Kate joking tells her mom (on the phone) that she's wearing a "boob tube" with a skirt.
  • We see a head and shoulders shot of Harvey in the shower (nothing explicit).
  • About Kate's mom always calling her, Oonagh states that the mom is like human contraception, adding that she's ruining Kate's sex life.
  • Kate mentions a psychosexual thriller regarding her writing class.
  • Kate shows a little cleavage.
  • Kate states that she was pregnant once, didn't have it and didn't think twice about it, but now wonders what the child would have been like.
  • A writer in Kate's writing class reads part of his passage that includes, "He could still smell her on his glove, that deep penetrating smell of sex. It was silent, but for the faint sound of dripping sweat. Salt was the taste that he remembered most, so salubrious, so sensual, so sexy."
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • When her mom mentions something her dad used to say, Kate sarcastically asks about him being in the south of France (referring to his past affair), and then apologizes.
  • Harvey is a little depressed when he learns he's the only family member staying in a hotel while the rest are staying at a house his ex-wife rented.
  • Harvey and Susan have somewhat of a strained father/daughter relationship.
  • Harvey continues to realize he's the odd man out at his daughter's wedding rehearsal.
  • Harvey tells Jean, "You know how to make me feel like a piece of sh*t in thirty seconds."
  • Harvey tells Susan he won't be at her reception. She's upset by this, but then tells her dad that Brian (her stepfather) will give her away at the wedding rather than him.
  • Kate says that her dad ran off with his secretary to France (in the past).
  • Harvey says somewhere along the way he lost his daughter, realized he didn't belong in that house, and thinks his family was embarrassed by him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Failed marriages and other relationships.
  • Harvey says somewhere along the way he lost his daughter, realized he didn't belong in that house, and thinks his family was embarrassed by him.
  • Blind dates.
  • Kate states that she was pregnant once, didn't have it and didn't think twice about it, but now wonders what the child would have been like.
  • While climbing several flights of steps, Harvey collapses and grabs his chest, seemingly having a heart attack (we later learn it's just an irregular heartbeat and he's okay).
  • Kate stating that she's more comfortable with being disappointed.
  • People who write commercial jingles.
  • VIOLENCE
  • None.



  • Reviewed January 12, 2009 / Posted January 16, 2009

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