Serious Movie Lover

Looking for a Little Comedy and Romance? This One is For You

By / Wednesday, March 21, 2012 / Category: Review / No comments

SALMON FISHING N THE YEMEN (2011/ IN THEATERS)  The previews for this romantic comedy from Swedish Director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) have already given away many of the funny parts of the film.  But there’s still plenty more to enjoy in this light entertainment set against the politics of the UK and the Middle East.  The basic story involves a far-fetched idea from a wealth Sheik to build a dam in Yemen, import 10,000 UK salmon, and create a miracle—salmon fishing in the desert.  His idea is scoffed at by all those involved, particularly by Ewan McGregor (Dr. Alfred Jones), a UK fisheries specialist with a thick Scottish accent who is asked to spearhead the project.  His contact is Emily Bunt as Harriet Chetwode-Talbet, the go-to girl for the wealthy Sheik Mohammed (Amr Waked).  After an initial meeting to explore the concept, the two appear to be “cold as fish,” but enter Kristen Scott Thomas as Patricia Maxwell, the PR powerhouse for the British Prime Minister, who sees this crazy project as the “good news” she needs for the Middle East and soon, we’re off and running.  As I understand it, the film is based on a very popular UK novel by author Paul Torday who combined his interest in fly fishing and the Middle East to create a novel that was a comedic send-up of modern day UK politics and particularly of its “spin management.”  His novel was adapted for the screen by Simon Beaufoy who also created the screenplays for Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours.  The film version is much more romance and much less satire, but it is still enjoyable—particularly thanks to the strong performances of its main characters.  Who doesn’t love Ewan McGregor with his accent full on?  And how about Emily Blunt as her usual “prim and proper” British self?  I have to say, however, that my favorite of the entire movie was Kristen Scott Thomas who really held nothing back.  Not a blockbuster, but definitely worth seeing in the theater if you’re in the mood for something light-hearted and the polar opposite of “The Hunger Games.”


Grade:             B +

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