Sunday, January 11, 2009

1/11/09: Last Chance Harvey (2008)

Here's my first unqualified thumbs-up for the year (and the perfect kickoff to Dustin Hoffman week). It's an old-fashioned romantic comedy about two older people finding love when they aren't expecting it—or even necessarily hoping to find it. TV commercial jingle writer (and failed jazz pianist) Hoffman flies to London to witness the marriage of his daughter and meets Emma Thompson, an employee of Heathrow Airport. The rest is a Before Sunrise-style story of two strangers who start to fall in love. It's an unashamedly corny picture that dares not to insult the intelligence of the viewer—only one scene (involving a dress shop) was genuinely idiotic, but blessedly brief. The movie is about learning to overcome and conquer disappointment, and it's delightfully corny, with a touching score by Dickon Hinchliffe, and it put a tear in my eye not once but twice. See it with someone you want to make out with afterwards. With Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker, Eileen Atkins, James Brolin and West Wing alum Richard Schiff. Rating: 5/5.

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