Positive message, poor plot
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a feel-good romantic comedy with a positive message. Based on the 2006 best-selling book, the story concerns two people, Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) and Dr Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor), who are working on a water management project in the Middle East.
The film is directed by Swede Lasse Hallstr?m, who also filmed the hits Chocolat, Dear John and The Cider House Rules.
Alfred is an unhappily married scientist who's dragged into a British government-backed project to bring salmon fishing to Yemen. Finance consultant Harriet is assisting him and trying to make sure the project will happen for her client, the wealthy Sheikh Mohammad (Amr Waked), who enjoyed the sport in Scotland and wants to bring it to his homeland. Obviously, the project faces many obstacles due to cultural differences.
The story uses the analogy of fish swimming against the current to illustrate what it takes to turn a dream into reality. But the plot is cliched and predictable. Harriet's soldier boyfriend (Tom Mison) goes missing in action, returning at the exact moment her romance with Alfred begins to flourish. That relationship needed to have been developed more, too.
Nevertheless, Yemen's beautiful scenery, a charming performance by McGregor and the beautiful, vulnerable Blunt will make it enjoyable for many.