Film Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“This thing is a bloody joke,” says Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor), a fisheries expert who’s been approached by consultant Harriet Chetworth (Emily Blunt) to help a very wealthy Sheik (Amr Waked) bring his favorite sport, fly-fishing, to the desert in the romantic film, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
Even though the whole idea seems absurd, when the Prime Minister’s press secretary needs a light-hearted “good will” project to take focus away from the increase in violence in the Middle East, Dr. Jones finds himself being forced to work with the always optimistic and lovely Harriet on making the Sheik’s dream a possible reality. Working closely together and traveling all the way to the Sheik’s home in Yemen to provide an update and check out the possible areas to drop the fish for breeding, Alfred and Harriet slowly begin to believe in making the impossible possible while also slowly starting to fall hard for each other.
Charming and funny, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a romantic comedy/drama that has an original, quirky script and two delightful performances by Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. Both McGregor as the no-sense, at times downright rude Dr. Jones and Blunt as the smart, flirty Harriet have wonderful chemistry together. When Harriet receives some awful news it falls to Alfred to comfort her and help her find the determination to continue on with their project. It’s a very sweet, awkward and realistic scene.
Kristin Scott Thomas is perfectly cast as the overzealous press secretary to the Prime Minister who provides many of the laugh-out- loud moments in the film.
Reminiscent of the oddball romantic comedies of old Hollywood, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a sweet, endearing and enjoyable film that will have the audience smiling and chuckling as they leave the movie theater.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was directed by Lasse Hallström and is rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content, and brief language.