"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" Overwhelms With Lightweight Heavy-Handedness

Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor star in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
CBS Films
Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor star in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen concerns London fisheries specialist Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor), who's tasked by the prime minister's flack (Kristin Scott Thomas) to export British salmon to a Yemeni river at the request of a sheikh (Amr Waked) with a jones for fly-fishing. The sheikh's real estate assistant (Emily Blunt) tags along to help and, in the process, entices the unhappily married Jones into romance and Hallströmian self-actualization. The first section of the film deploys chipper barbs at the expense of career bureaucrats, which is funny and effective — Scott Thomas, who brings the raunch, is particularly good — but once McGregor and Blunt start dissecting their complicated feelings for each other, things turn unexpectedly dire. They're a ridiculously attractive and likable couple, but the film overwhelms them with lightweight heavy-handedness.

 
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