Story

Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) flies to London from the US to attend his daughter’s wedding. He works in advertising as a jingle writer, a job he no longer enjoys but still desperately wants to keep. He has been given one last chance to land a deal and is determined to do this while also attending the wedding.

On arriving in England, Harvey learns that several last-minute changes have been made to exclude him from the wedding arrangements. Feeling isolated and dejected after an awkward welcome from the bride and a series of miscommunications, he opts to return home to settle his business deal instead of attending the wedding reception.

Unfortunately, Harvey misses his flight and as a result loses his job. While drowning his sorrows in an airport tavern, he meets Kate Walker (Emma Thompson), a single, middle-aged woman. Kate’s over-dependent mother and friends have made it their mission to find her a man. Kate has had enough of their well-intended meddling, however, and much prefers her writing class or a good book.

An unlikely friendship develops between Harvey and Kate, and they spend the day getting to know one another. At Kate’s insistence, they attend his daughter’s wedding reception and the events that follow have the potential to change both their lives.

Themes

Family breakdown

Violence

There is no violence in this film.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

Children in this age group are unlikely to be concerned by anything in this film.

From 8-13

Some children might be concerned when Kate cries as she mentions terminating a pregnancy in her past.

Over 13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be concerned by anything in this film.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie. For example:

  • One friend comments to Kate that Kate's mother acts like ‘human contraception’.
  • Kate’s friend tells her that her blind date is ‘hot’ and, with a knowing look, adds that he has big hands.
  • At a writing class, an elderly man reads an excerpt from a psycho-sexual thriller that he has written. It includes a passage describing oozing chocolate, dripping sweat and the deep, penetrating smell of sex.

Alcohol, drugs and other references

There is some use of substances in this movie, including frequent use of alcohol.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie. For example:

  • A busker singing with a band wears a skimpy, plunging top, a tight miniskirt and fishnet stockings.
  • Some dresses at the wedding reception reveal a lot of cleavage.

Product placement

There is no product placement of concern in this film.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in this movie.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Last Chance Harvey is a romantic comedy suited to a mature audience. Because of the slow pace of the film and frequent adult dialogue, children are likely to find the film boring.

The main messages from this movie are that it is never too late for last chances and that you don’t necessarily need to go looking for love. Sometimes love will find you, especially when you least expect it.

Values in this movie that parents might wish to reinforce with their children include communication, forgiveness, persistence and open-mindedness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • retreating into yourself and not allowing other people a chance to get to know you
  • judging other people because their habits or lifestyle are different from yours.