3. Last Chance Harvey (2008) [Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.]
summary from imdb.com:
In London for his daughter’s wedding, a rumpled man finds his romantic spirits lifted by a new woman in his life.
directed by: Joel Hopkins
starring: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker, James Brolin, Richard Schiff
Dustin Hoffman: you got sad… why?
Emma Thompson: I was pregnant once… didn’t have it… I mean… I didn’t think twice about it… that’s what smart girls did… yeah… I do… I do sometimes wonder, you know, wh– whether they would be funny or clever or… [cries]… oh, i don’t know… neurotic… stupid, really… i don’t know why i told you that…
Although a love story, Last Chance Harvey is, more so, a tale of redemption. It is a beautifully unfolding story about love in all areas of life—be it towards our children, our parents, friends, romantic interests or even ex-spouses. In some ways it’s about maturing in your circumstances, as unfair as life may sometimes feel, accepting your own short comings and responsibilities and make the right decisions anyway.
At one point, Kate mentions having an abortion some years back. The scene is brief, and not a central theme in the story line, but the emotion that she feels about it is still very raw and moving. This scene truly stood out to me. Even in the best of films, we seem to always remember that we are watching a movie with actors paid to portray a character. When those performers, however, seem to go further and portray an element of human depth in such an honest and candid way—it is hard not to pause and consider what that very situation must have been like. Such scenes evoke an empathy in us, regardless of how brief the scene may have been.
Wonder of wonders, a current hit movie makes a subtle anti-abortion statement.
How did this slip by the liberal Hollywood thought controllers?
The film is “Last Chance Harvey,” a thoroughly delightful and uplifting story of an August-December romance between Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.
The anti-abortion sentiment is expressed quite briefly, and don’t expect Roger Ebert or Richard Roeper to even make note of it, but it is in there, plain as day.
In a scene where the protagonists are talking, heart to heart, getting to know each other better, Emma Thompson’s mood changes abruptly.
“You just became sad,” Hoffman says. “Why?”
“I was thinking about my days as a college student. I became pregnant. I did away with it. But sometimes I find myself wondering if he or she would have have been funny — or clever — or neurotic.
“Stupid of me to get this way, really.”
Abortion remorse in a major Hollywood movie — interesting.
Some speculate that the shift in public opinion polls showing a majority of Americans now opposed to our liberal abortion laws, may be significantly due to the remorse felt by many baby boomer women over abortions that they had during an earlier, less thoughtful, time in their lives.
I doubt the Hollywood moguls would have kept this off the cutting room floor unless they perceived that a profound sentiment, like abortion remorse, was, indeed, in the air.