Movies

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Amidst political turmoil, a sheik dreams of bringing fly-fishing to Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the YemenIn romantic movies, the obstacles to love have only gotten bigger, louder, and more obvious. But Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, adapted...Salmon Fishing in the YemenComedy, RomancePT107MPG-13In romantic movies, the obstacles to love have only gotten bigger, louder, and more obvious. But Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, adapted...2012-04-03CBS Films
FLY-FISHING Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

FLY-FISHING Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (Laurie Sparham)

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Genre: Comedy, Romance; Starring: Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor; Director: Lasse Hallstrom; Release Date Wide: 03/09/2012; Status: In Season; Runtime (in minutes): In Season; MPAA Rating: In Season; Distributor: CBS Films

In romantic movies, the obstacles to love have only gotten bigger, louder, and more obvious. But Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, adapted from Paul Torday’s 2007 novel by screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and director Lasse Hallström (Chocolat), takes us back to the sort of achingly civilized love story in which the only thing that really stands in the way of two people falling for each other is their own decorum. Ewan McGregor, at his most sweetly recessive, is a British fisheries expert, and Emily Blunt, dialing down her sauciness to a pleasing low hum, plays the PR representative of a Yemeni sheik (Amr Waked) who’s in possession of a cockeyed dream: He wants to bring salmon fishing to the desert. (For him, it will symbolize the harmonization of East and West.)

McGregor and Blunt become partners on the project, even though he, for one, doesn’t believe that it can work. The two each start off involved with other people (he’s unhappily married, she’s dating a handsome soldier who gets shipped off to Afghanistan), but they spend the movie flirting, withdrawing, and dithering about whether they’re friends or something more. As they do, the capricious challenge before them becomes, you know, a metaphor. You can have a reasonably nice time at Salmon Fishing in the Yemen if you accept that it’s the tidiest movie imaginable to ever say that falling in love is like swimming upstream. B

Originally posted April 3 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT

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