Last Chance Harvey (2008)

Last Chance Harvey 2008tt1046947.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Last Chance Harvey (2008)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 11,421 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 16 January 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 93 min
  • Filming Location: Belsize Park, London, England, UK
  • Gross: $14,879,423(USA)(19 April 2009)
  • Director: Joel Hopkins
  • Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson and Kathy Baker
  • Original Music By: Dickon Hinchliffe   
  • Soundtrack: I Got Opinions
  • Sound Mix: DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS
  • Plot Keyword: Wedding | Lunch | Divorce | No Opening Credits | American Abroad

Writing Credits By:

  • Joel Hopkins (written by)

Known Trivia

  • Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman worked so well together in ‘Stranger Than Fiction (2006)’, they wanted to do another project together and got involved in “Last Chance Harvey”.
  • At the wedding banquet, the girl who speaks to Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson (“You do know this is the children’s table?”), is played by Gaia Wise, Emma Thompson’s daughter. Director Joel Hopkins’s daughter is also seated at the table.

Goofs: Continuity: When Kate hugs her mother at the start of the film, the slice of toast in her hand disappears.

Plot: In London for his daughter's wedding, a rumpled man finds his romantic spirits lifted by a new woman in his life. Full summary »  »

Story: Harvey Shine is in London for the weekend for his daughter's wedding. His work in New York preoccupies him: he writes music for ads, and he knows his boss is pushing him aside for younger talent. With family he's also on the sidelines – long divorced, his wife remarried, her husband closer to his daughter than he. His path crosses that of Kate Walker, unmarried, her life becoming that of a spinster, set up by friends on blind dates leading nowhere. After Harvey's no good terrible day, he chats Kate up at a Heathrow bar. She's not interested. Where can this conversation lead? Back at his daughter's reception, the step-father rises to give a toast.Written by <>  


Synopsis: Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) works as a jingle writer for television commercials in Manhattan, a job not in keeping with his one-time aspiration to be a jazz composer and pianist. We see him at work and he is very good at what he does. However, his boss does not seem impressed with his latest output. As Harvey departs for London to attend his daughter Susan’s wedding, his boss actually suggests that he spend more time there than he had originally planned. Harvey declines, making the point that he needs to be back for an upcoming pitch to an old client. His boss insists that it is taken care off.

On the plane, Harvey tries to chat up a fellow passenger, but she is having none of it. He is left sitting there with egg on his face and we come to regard him as even more of a loser.

Upon arrival at Heathrow Airport in London, he encounters Kate Walker, a single Londoner who collects statistics from passengers as they pass through the terminals. She attempts to question him about his reasons for visiting the UK. Tired and anxious to get to his hotel, Harvey brusquely dismisses her when she approaches him to ask questions.

Harvey heads for the hotel to check in and discovers that he is the first one to arrive. Upon calling his daughter to double check where everyone else is when everyone was supposed to be staying together, he learns that is ex-wife Jean actually rented a house to accommodate family and friends from the States and he is the only one at the hotel.

After a brief nap, he showers and hurriedly dresses. On the way to the rehearsal dinner in the taxi cab, he realizes the anti-shoplifting device is still attached to the sleeve of his jacket. And to make matter worse, he has worn a white suit (thinking this was requested) while all the other men wore black. During the meal, it becomes increasingly clear Harvey is considered a mere guest and the role of father of the bride has been delegated to Jean’s husband Brian. To add insult to injury, Brian stands to give the toast, and recollects the vacation they all spent in Rome and his son in law to be embraces him and calls him Dad. Just before leaving back to his hotel, when Harvey tells Susan (with whom he has shared a strained relationship since his divorce) that he will be attending the ceremony but not the subsequent reception because he needs to return to the States for an important meeting, she informs him she has asked Brian to give her away.

Meanwhile, we learn a little more about Kate Walker. She works for a company at the airport gathering demographics about arriving passengers. She deals with a slightly neurotic mother (played by Eileen Atkins) who is convinced that the Polish man next door is some kind of murderer because she sees him toting strange looking, lumpy packages into a shed in the back yard. Kate was set up on a blind date by a well meaning co-worker that is not going well. When she returned to the table after taking yet another call from her mother she discovers her date has invited friends to join them. Feeling unwanted and excluded from the conversation, she eventually excuses herself and goes home.

The following morning Harvey attends the wedding, but heavy traffic delays his arrival at Heathrow. He arrives with only minutes to spare, but is informed the plane has already closed to boarding. When he calls his boss Marvin in NYC to inform him he will be returning a day later than planned and that he will try to get there as soon as possible, he is told that he is fired.

In his glum mood, he makes his way to the airport bar and starts slugging down Scotch, determined to drown his sorrows. Kate is sitting in the lounge reading a novel and drinking wine when she notices Harvey. She makes a barb to him about the drinking being a big help to what ever is bothering him and he fires back about her reading a trashy novel and drinking Chardonnay being so much better.

They gradually warm to each other over the course of their salads. After an awkward goodbye at the exit, where Harvey wistfully watches Kate walk away, he decides to follow her to the Heathrow Express and upon arrival at Paddington station, asks if he can walk her to her writing class on the South Bank. She accepts his offer and is pleased when he offers to meet her after class.

As they stroll along the River Thames, Harvey mentions he is missing Susan’s wedding reception, and Kate urges him to go. He finally relents, but only if she will accompany him. When Kate insists she is not properly dressed for such an occasion, Harvey buys her a dress and the two head to the Grosvenor House Hotel, where they are welcomed warmly by Susan and her new husband Scott. When the father of the bride is called upon to make a toast, Brian rises and begins to speak until Harvey taps his glass and reminds him who the real father of the bride is. He then delivers an eloquent speech that redeems him with his daughter and endears him to Kate.

Following the reception, Harvey and Kate walk and talk until dawn. They exchange a single, gentle kiss and agree to meet at noon. They are both excited about the upcoming rendezvous, but after running up the hotel stairs too quickly, Harvey suffers an attack of arrhythmia! Paramedics rush him to the hospital.

Harvey never showed up for their meeting and Kate is crushed and rueful.

After being released form the hospital Harvey receives a call from his ex boss Marvin, who having discovered his employee is more indispensable than he thought, urges him to return to work as soon as possible. Harvey declines with a big fat I quit having decided he preferred to remain in London and explore the possibility of a relationship with Kate.

Harvey rushes to the airport to redeem himself with Kate but she’s not there! Her workmates are suspicious of him at first but later decide they should end up together and let him know that she is at her writing class. He tracks her down at her writing class and reveals why he missed their rendezvous. Overly cautious about romance because of so many past disappointments, Kate initially resists his suggestion they see what the future might bring them, but finally agrees to give things a chance. And hand in hand they walk together as credits roll.

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Robert Kessel known as production executive
  • Jawal Nga known as executive producer
  • Tim Perell known as producer
  • Guy Tannahill known as line producer
  • Nicola Usborne known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Dustin Hoffman known as Harvey Shine
  • Emma Thompson known as Kate Walker
  • Eileen Atkins known as Maggie
  • Kathy Baker known as Jean
  • Liane Balaban known as Susan
  • James Brolin known as Brian
  • Richard Schiff known as Marvin
  • Tim Howar known as Johnnie (as Timothy Howar)
  • Wendy Mae Brown known as Aggie
  • Bronagh Gallagher known as Oonagh
  • Jeremy Sheffield known as Matt
  • Daniel Lapaine known as Scott (as Daniel LaPaine)
  • Patrick Baladi known as Simon
  • Adam James known as Josh Hillman
  • Michael Landes known as Peter Turner
  • Jamie Sives known as Doctor Butler
  • Kate Harper known as Jill
  • Angela Griffin known as Melissa
  • Alex Avery known as Andrew
  • Tim Ahern known as Barry
  • Charlotte Lucas known as Gwen
  • Nadia Cameron-Blakey known as Attractive Woman
  • Lauren Dennington known as Airline Stewardess
  • Figs Jackman known as Barman
  • Adam Astill known as Business Man
  • Rhydian Jones known as Check-In Steward 1
  • Andrea Harris known as Check-In Steward 2
  • Vincent Brimble known as Concierge
  • Paul Haley known as Elderly Man
  • Gaia Wise known as Girl at Wedding
  • Amy Younger known as Girl at Wedding
  • Leslie Randall known as Mild Mannered Mike
  • Imogen Byron known as Niece at Wedding
  • Ginny Holder known as Nurse
  • Pascal Scott known as Paddy the Postman
  • Robert Jezek known as Polish Neighbor
  • Heather Bleasdale known as Receptionist
  • Femi Oguns known as Room Service Waiter
  • Noah Marullo known as Silent Boy
  • Mark Kempner known as Taxi Cab Driver
  • Nick Cavaliere known as Waiter Reception
  • Mickey Sumner known as Friend of the Bride
  • Kitty Daisy & Lewis known as Buskers
  • Debbie Attwell known as Shopper (uncredited)
  • Jemma Bolt known as Sarah (uncredited)
  • James Currie known as Cyclist (uncredited)
  • Tim Glanfield known as Charming Man (uncredited)
  • Joanna Jeffrees known as Girl at theatre (uncredited)
  • Masato Kamo known as Waiter (uncredited)
  • Sid Karne known as Doctor (uncredited)
  • Javed Khan known as Bar Cleaner (uncredited)
  • Tracy Redington known as Wedding Guest (uncredited)
  • Ian Stacey known as Passenger (uncredited)
  • Gill Stoker known as Woman in Airport (uncredited)
  • Chris Wilson known as Airport Police Officer (uncredited)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

  • Francesco Alberico known as makeup artist
  • Tricia Cameron known as makeup and hair artist: Ms. Thompson (as Patricia Cameron)
  • Julie Dartnell known as makeup artist
  • Daniel Erdman known as hair stylist: Mr. Hoffman
  • Marilyn MacDonald known as key hair stylist
  • Marilyn MacDonald known as key makeup artist
  • Valli O'Reilly known as makeup artist: Mr. Hoffman

Art Department:

  • Caroline Barclay known as stand-by art director
  • Jon Bates known as stand-by props
  • James Brooker known as dressing props
  • Gareth Cousins known as assistant art director
  • Dan Crandon known as construction manager
  • Quentin Davies known as prop storeman
  • Peter Davis known as senior supervising painter
  • Peter Edge known as stand-by painter
  • Nadine Herrmann known as art department assistant
  • Prue Howard known as assistant buyer
  • Ben Johnson known as stand-by prop
  • Mark Larkin known as graphic designer
  • Garry Moore known as stand-by carpenter
  • Claire Pidgeon known as production buyer
  • Nick Thomas known as property master
  • Libby Uppington known as dressing prop


Production Companies:

  • Overture Films
  • Process Productions

Other Companies:

  • Access Bookings  accommodation
  • Act One Script Clearance  script research
  • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies/mobiles
  • CNSO Studios  recording studio
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera cranes
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera dollies
  • Film Finances  completion guarantor
  • Gallagher Entertainment  insurance
  • Gearbox Sound and Vision  additional Pro Tools Systems Supplied by
  • Goldcrest Post Production London  sound post-production
  • HireWorks  editing equipment
  • Kodak  motion picture film supplied by
  • Lakeshore Records  soundtrack
  • Lightworks  edited on
  • Media Services  stationery supplier
  • Mediscene  medical equipment
  • Movie Lot, The  security
  • PMA Production  epk services
  • Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, The  orchestra
  • Soundelux  sound post-production
  • Technicolor  release printing
  • Tenon Media  UK audit and accountancy
  • Translux  facilities and trucks
  • Translux  facilities


  • Alliance (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Distribution Company (2009) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Hollywood Entertainment (2009) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Klock Worx Company, The (2010) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • La Fabrique de Films (2009) (France) (theatrical)
  • Momentum Pictures (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Noble Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • Overture Films (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • RCV Film Distribution (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Shaw Organisation (2009) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Alliance (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Amero PT (2009) (Indonesia) (all media)
  • Anchor Bay Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Anchor Bay Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Argentina Video Home (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2009) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • BIM Distribuzione (2009) (Italy) (all media)
  • Concorde Filmverleih (2009) (Germany) (all media)
  • Eastern European Acquisition Pool (EEAP) (2009) (Bulgaria) (all media)
  • Eastern European Acquisition Pool (EEAP) (2009) (Czech Republic) (all media)
  • Eastern European Acquisition Pool (EEAP) (2009) (Hungary) (all media)
  • Eastern European Acquisition Pool (EEAP) (2009) (Lithuania) (all media)
  • Eastern European Acquisition Pool (EEAP) (2009) (Poland) (all media)
  • Eastern European Acquisition Pool (EEAP) (2009) (Romania) (all media)
  • Eastern European Acquisition Pool (EEAP) (2009) (Slovakia) (all media)
  • Future Film (2009) (Finland) (all media)
  • Gulf Film (2009) (Saudi Arabia) (all media)
  • Gussi Films (2009) (Chile) (all media)
  • Gussi Films (2009) (Colombia) (all media)
  • Gussi Films (2009) (Mexico) (all media)
  • Imagem Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Lusomundo (2009) (Portugal) (all media)
  • Midget Entertainment (2009) (Denmark) (all media)
  • Momentum Pictures (2009) (UK) (all media)
  • Myndform (2009) (Iceland) (all media)
  • Overture Films (2009) (Canada) (all media)
  • Pacific Marketing & Entertainment (2009) (Thailand) (all media)
  • R Film (2009) (Turkey) (all media)
  • RCV Film Distribution (2009) (Belgium) (all media)
  • RCV Film Distribution (2009) (Luxembourg) (all media)
  • RCV Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • United King Films (2009) (Israel) (all media)
  • WEG (2009) (India) (all media)
  • Wide Pictures (2009) (Spain) (all media)

..{tab=Other Stuff}Visual Effects by:

  • Charlotte Gray known as digital restoration

Release Date:

  • USA 8 November 2008 (AFI Film Festival)
  • USA 9 November 2008 (American Film Market)
  • USA 25 December 2008 (limited)
  • USA 16 January 2009
  • Portugal 5 February 2009
  • Ireland 21 February 2009 (Dublin Film Festival)
  • UK 22 February 2009 (Glasgow Film Festival)
  • Australia 26 February 2009
  • Belgium 4 March 2009
  • France 4 March 2009
  • Singapore 5 March 2009
  • Netherlands 12 March 2009
  • Iceland 13 March 2009
  • Switzerland 18 March 2009 (French speaking region)
  • Israel 19 March 2009
  • Mexico 20 March 2009
  • Switzerland 9 April 2009 (German speaking region)
  • Finland 10 April 2009
  • Taiwan 10 April 2009
  • Germany 16 April 2009
  • New Zealand 30 April 2009
  • Spain 8 May 2009
  • Bulgaria 22 May 2009
  • UK 27 May 2009 (London) (premiere)
  • Argentina 4 June 2009
  • Ireland 5 June 2009
  • Sweden 5 June 2009
  • UK 5 June 2009
  • Hong Kong 18 June 2009
  • Brazil 19 June 2009
  • Austria 26 June 2009
  • Norway 26 June 2009
  • Greece 16 July 2009
  • Turkey 17 July 2009
  • Denmark 24 July 2009
  • Italy 29 July 2009 (TV premiere)
  • Hungary 6 August 2009
  • Peru 6 August 2009
  • Egypt 30 September 2009
  • Japan 6 February 2010
  • South Korea 28 October 2010
  • Panama 7 October 2011

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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