Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: Nice catch!

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Going fishing not your thing?  No desire to go to the Yemen?  Never mind!  “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” isn’t your everyday romantic comedy but laughs and love abound throughout this thoughtful, sweet, little film.

When fisheries expert Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is contacted regarding a sheik’s vision of creating a habitat in the Yemen to support his love of fly fishing, he balks at the mission impossible.  But after overbearing PR flack for the British Prime Minister, Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas), learns of the request, she seizes the opportunity to generate some good press for Arab/English relations.  Faced with losing his job or indulging a rich man’s fantasy, Jones begrudgingly accepts the challenge.

The sheik’s representative Harriet (Emily Blunt) arranges for the two men to meet and fishing turns out to an instant ice breaker.  The weekend finds them discussing the concept of faith as much as fishing.  Then Harriet gets word that her new boyfriend, recently redeployed to a war zone is missing in action.  Jones is quite moved by her grief and it isn’t long before the two form a deep friendship.  As the project moves to the desert for realization, Jones convinces Harriet to join them as a way to distract herself.  Though Jones himself is married, he is feeling the isolation of a long distance relationship and soon finds himself falling for Harriet.

The process of bringing fly fishing to the desert is as fascinating as it proves to be costly.  But for all its beauty, it is really merely a plot device to explore the notions of love, loss, inspiration and faith.  The sheik has enemies that don’t want to see the western ways of fly fishing brought to their region and do their best to sabotage and even assassinate the sheik.  This provides unexpected drama and some heart stopping excitement.

McGregor is adorable as the quirky, deadpan doc, while Blunt is charming and vulnerable.  Amr Waked, cuts a handsome, charismatic leader, whose calm amongst chaos is admirable.  He has a couple of American screen credits under his belt and if this performance is any indication, I look forward to seeing more performances from this Egyptian actor.

“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is highly recommended as a great date movie.  Lots of romance for you and just the right amount of engineering and fishing to keep the manliest of men entertained, too!

“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” catches 3 Red Vines for charm