Salmon Fishing In The Yemen
Directed by Lasse Hallstrom
With charming lead performances, a fun script, and good pacing, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen is a steadily enjoyable, heart-warming, lighthearted film with very little to offer apart from solid entertainment.
Whether or not you believe McGregor and Blunt are well-suited to their roles, it's hard to deny their wonderful chemistry, which often keeps the movie afloat during the uneventful portions of the story. These two, arguably amongst the most charming actors currently in the business, are both entertaining, and completely lovable. Though their performances may not be some of the most inspired bits of acting you have seen, they still play off each other well and make for a wonderful couple for the audience to root for.
McGregor and Blunt may have the chemistry, but when it comes to pure entertainment, it's the scene-stealing Kristen Scott Thomas that really won me over. Her showy, fast-talking performance is one of the film's major highlights, always managing to get a laugh and keep your attention focused solely on her. It's rare for a specific performance in a film this light to find its way into the spotlight at all, but Thomas manages to do this, and I can say I was quite impressed. After I've Loved You So Long and The English Patient I became wholly aware of her dramatic range, but now that I've seen her comedic abilities as well, I can safely say she is one of the better actresses working today.
This is a very pleasant movie. I have no major complaints with it, but still find it hard to give it a higher rating. It's in its inherent likability that I may find it's main defect: it takes no risks. Granted, sometimes you don't want to watch a dark, risky, provocative film, but a small step away from the norm is never a bad idea for a movie to take. This film does no such thing, and though it's a very nice, lighthearted, entertaining movie, it doesn't do much to impress you, and any long-term effects it may have on you are bordering on non-existent.
Regardless of its and lack of staying power, risk-taking and exploration of darker themes which might have easily been tapped into, this is still a very entertaining movie which I can see myself watching again sometime in the not-too-distant future. McGregor, Blunt, and Thomas (especially Thomas) all deliver strong performances, and though the script may be light and a tad on the safe side, the story is still interesting, and there is very little not to like about it. It may not be great, but it didn't need to be.