Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is about the grand dream of a wealthy sheik from Yemen to bring salmon fishing into his desert country. When a consultant and representative of the sheikh approached Dr. Alfred Jones the leading British fisheries expert to make the dream a reality, he told Harriet the consultant that it is impossible and absurd. With the insistence of the Prime Minister’s press secretary to have a “good will” story about the Middle East, the dream became a reality.
It is a romantic quirky comedy with a bit of political intrigue. Dr. Jones is a buttoned-up bureaucrat and is having marital problems, Harriet’s military boyfriend went missing in Afghanistan and Patricia Maxwell the distrustful press secretary is pressed to have a Middle East story in order to improve the strained relationship between Britain and the Arab world. All of these figured to have the impossible dream of bringing sports fishing in the Middle East a reality.
On the romantic angle, the Sheikh served as the matchmaker between Dr. Jones and Harriet. The missing boyfriend survived and eventually showed up, Dr. Jones and wife separated and in the end Harriet and Dr Jones were together.
While the title sounds boring and silly, it is a smart and very enjoyable romantic comedy. It has a wonderful story and good acting by the major players and notably Kristin Scott Thomas. There is nothing emotionally deep, no violence or robots and no harsh language except the F-bombs throughout the movie.
Based on the satirical novel by Paul Torday and stars Ewan McGregor as Dr. Alfred Jones, Emily Blunt as Harriet, Kristin Scott Thomas as the press secretary and Amr Waked as Sheikh Muhammed.
The movie is recommended as an alternative to those movies with big budgets with horrendous amount of violence.