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

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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