This past Sunday, Dec 14th, Talk Cinema gave us Rom Com hopeful Last Chance Harvey on the screen at the Century theater by Clark and Diversey here in Chitown.
It really was cute, well, sort of cute. Dustin Hoffman, is a very sad and pathetic guy. The kind of guy who people don't want to talk to on the airplane, who has a history of drinking, who is on his own, and whose daughter wants her stepdad to walk her down the aisle. He forgoes the chance to make sure he keeps his job to make a trip to London to attend his daughter's wedding. Of course when he arrives, daughter is colored not impressed, the job is lost. But to save the day, in the midst of it he runs into our lovely Emma Thompson.
Thompson character's is basically Elinor Dashwood, from Sense and Sensibility meets Sarah from Love Actually (though with a mother who she stops her life for to talk to on the phone all the time instead of a mildly retarded and violent brother). Kate Walker is the big sister/supervisor to the girls she plays with at work (and who try to set her up with an eligible bachelor) and the martyr who takes care of everyone else including taking her mother's crazy calls all the time because "she's had a hard run of it."
The problem is this, the movie sort of aims its sights at being a ROM COM but a romantic comedy needs comedy. The circumstances leading up to him being in a bad place aren't funny, they are simply depressing. The fact that the rich stepfather could be a class war against the struggling piano player. But, they let that go. Instead we're just left with a sad lonely woman taking the attentions of a messed up and desperate guy. It doesn't even come off as romantic at all (not to mention the afore mentioned lack of comedy). But there are some tender moments and I did laugh, just not enough for me to recommend it to anyone else except for as a renter.
I give it a C/leaning towards a C-