There has been a trend in Hollywood as of late to produce romantic comedies that include insulting bathroom humor in the mix. It’s a turn off to me and makes me feel sad that Hollywood thinks that a film cannot be funny or romantic without getting obnoxious. Out from the UK is a refreshing romantic comedy that never seems the need to reach for the obscene, it is a throwback to older romantic comedies that rely on wit and spark to create the perfect climate for a great film. This film is “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.”
In “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked) loves to fish for salmon when visiting his estates in England. He has a vision of bringing the sport to his home in the country of Yemen.
In order to make his dream come true he enlists the help of Harriet, (Emily Blunt) an employee of a the Sheikh’s PR firm in the UK, to bring together all the resources necessary to make his dream come true. Harriet finds fishing expert Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) to help with her task.
Keeping everyone on track to making this dream reality is the assistant to England’s Prime Minister, Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas). She is bawdy woman and will do just about anything to bring some good publicity to Great Britain.
Both Harriet and Alfred are in relationships when they first meet and their task of bringing salmon fishing to the Yemen is entirely a professional matter, but bringing the almost impossible to reality brings these two together and romantic sparks begin to fly. Will Harriet and Alfred make the Sheikh’s dream come true? Will Harriet and Alfred find their way to each other?
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is a delightful film that reminds me of the romantic comedies of Hepburn and Tracy. Although the plot seems completely implausible, that in itself becomes part of the story – and is the basis for the charm that this movie employs and is the product of the delightful script written by Simon Beaufoy and based on the novel written by Paul Torday.
Blunt and McGregor are wonderful together. They have just the perfect chemistry and both portray very believable characters. Their romance is not one of hot and heavy sexual encounters, but of a friendship that grows into true affection.
Kristin Scott Thomas is absolutely hysterical in this film. This is the best film I have seen her in years and I love seeing her play such a silly part. I look forward to seeing Thomas hone her comedic skills in more films like this one.
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” is the adult romantic comedy. This film rises above the bathroom humor comedies that Hollywood has been churning out recently and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is a breath of fresh air and a complete pleasure to watch.
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” is rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content, and brief language and has a run-time of 1 hour and 47 minutes.
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones & no texting, please don’t talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don’t forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com