Last Chance Harvey
A washed-up jingle writer (Dustin Hoffman), in London for the wedding of his estranged daughter (Liane Balaban), meets a solitary poll taker (Emma Thompson) at the airport and comes on to her like a pushy creep. Will love bloom? Give it to the Coen brothers and it could be nasty genius; for writer-director Joel Hopkins, it’s merely a disposable, predictable, wafer-thin romance between baby boomer sad sacks. For Hoffman, lately so habituated to antic waddling and acting-bag tricks, schmaltz can be like quicksand; Thompson’s warmth and testy intelligence has the unfair burden of keeping them both afloat. Apparently actors of their ages really don’t get many good scripts. But that’s no reason for moviegoers of the same ages to enable this film’s commonness with gratitude.