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Friday, March 23, 2012

entertainme: "salmon fishing in the yemen" review

Sometimes an idea can sound so far fetched that it actually makes sense. Like building a clear glass walkway high above the Grand Canyon or taking a submarine miles and miles down in the ocean where the pressure is equivalent to that of three SUV's sitting on your toe. So building a reservoir in the Middle East desert to fish for salmon (who swim upstream, mind you) doesn't seem like a big stretch at all then.

That's the premise of the new Emily Blunt / Ewan McGregor film "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen." Directed by Lasse Hallstrom ("Chocolat") "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is the story of Harriet (Emily Blunt), a calm but determined publicist for Sheikh Muhammed who decides to bring salmon fishing to the Yemen. Yes, salmon in the desert. Ewan McGregor is Dr. Alfred Jones, a quiet fisheries expert thrown together with Harriet to make this happen as salmon fishing in the Yemen becomes on national importance to Britain. Kristin Scott Thomas ("The English Patient") is brilliant in a supporting role as Pat Maxwell, a fiendishly wonderful press coordinator for the British Prime Minister. Watch closely and you can see a resemblance to Fiona, her character from "Four Weddings and a Funeral."

The appeal here is that this a not a formulaic rom-com. Both are in relationships with others, Harriet happily with a soldier shipped off to Afghanistan and Dr. Jones unhappily married to a wife who has no idea how lucky she is. Sure there's flirting and that kind of Hepburn/Tracy banter but rather, the enjoyment comes watching their friendship and seeing what determination and a huge amount of cash can do. At the beginning of the film you find yourself thinking the task is impossible, improbable even but throughout the film you find yourself rooting for Harriet, Dr. Jones and even the salmon. Sometimes swimming upstream is made easier with a little help from your friends.

Happy? Yes, you will be uplifted when you leave the theatre.

Who should see this movie: Take your sister or your mom out for a nice lunch and treat her to "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen."

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