- Released Internationally on 25/12/08
- Released in Malta by KRS on 15/07/09
In a nutshell
Harvey is going through a rough patch. Kate has just about given up on love. They bump into each amidst the bustle of London and thanks to some perseverance on Harvey's part an unconventional love story takes its first steps.
Not the best of weekends
Having given up his dream of becoming a jazz pianist, grey-haired Harvey pays the bills by composing jingles, but a batch of fresh composers risk making his job obsolete. He travels across the Atlantic for his estranged daughter's wedding, only to find that she has asked her stepfather to walk her down the aisle. Trying to drown his doldrums in an airport bar, he strikes up a conversation with Kate, and despite her best attempts to read her book, he keeps it going.
Who needs Paris?
Along with the two central characters, London is very much on display as the setting for their awkward romance. Like Love Actually, Notting Hill, Wimbledon and many others before them, there's something familiar and (ironically) warm about romantic comedies set along the Thames. As they stroll down the South Bank or rush through Heathrow, it all seems extremely believable and natural.
Who's in it?
The main strength of this unpretentious tale is watching two veteran actors at the top of their game as they feed off each other with ease. Dustin Hoffman plays the withdrawn, clumsy Harvey who's ready to drop everything for a chance to bring love back into his life. Emma Thompson is the very British Kate who has lost faith in men as a species and resigned herself to a life of caring for her widowed mother (veteran actress Eileen Atkins) and escaping into trashy novels for her dose of romance. That the spark between them lasts the weekend is a testimony to the high-calibre acting and the well-written script. Director Joel Hopkins makes an impressive mainstream debut as both writer and director, and allegedly wrote the story with these two main actors in mind.
In the end
It's all very predictable and if you've seen the trailer than you've seen most of it, but the effortless acting makes this romantic comedy stand out.