“Well, I'll Be Blunt”
“Though Toothless As Satire, The Movie Is A Light, Even Credible Romantic Comedy”
[Salmon Fishing in the Yemen] takes us back to the sort of achingly civilized love story in which the only thing that really stands in the way of two people falling for each other is their own decorum
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
The appeal of the film depends on the charm of Mr. McGregor and Ms. Blunt, whose polite but discreetly charged connection is the story's emotional center.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
The weakest part of this film is the ferocious government PR chief, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, with much lip-pursing and eye-rolling, but nothing funny or believable in the script for her to say.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Despite sporting the worst cinematic title since The Chumscrubber, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen hooks some charming laughs and a quaint romance by not delving too deeply into its subject matter.
Scott Bowles - USA Today
Somehow managing to be both twee and edgy, the absurdist but gently winning romantic comedy Salmon Fishing in the Yemen works a strange kind of wonder.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Proudly, it has no conviction to offer, just the comforts of its genericness.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Mostly sacrifices the political satire and epistolary structure of Paul Torday's source novel in favor of cute, if strained, rom-com shenanigans.
Mark Holcomb - Village Voice
Hallstrom ... goes for a "Local Hero"-type feeling, but the movie has to swim upstream to get anywhere.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Somehow, this cast, this director and this writer make it all come off, as unlikely a delight as the very fishy story it is built on.
Roger Moore - Dallas Morning News
[It] isn't such a shriveled runt you'd throw it back, but a little more attention in the direction and adaptation could have helped it feel a little more developed and fleshed-out than it is.
James Rocchi - MSN Movies
This perhaps sounds like a hilarious movie. So it could be, in the hands of the masters of classic British comedy.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
There's a great romantic comedy in this material, somewhere, which is too bad, because the movie that did get made is decent if a bit bland.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Hallstrom, the old softie, can't resist turning this into an inspirational tale, a freshwater Field of Dreams.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
It is what it is, and if you find McGregor and Blunt appealing, the movie will have you feeling similarly about it.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
While "Salmon Fishing" fritters away the comic momentum of its madcap opening chapters, it's like angling -- a pleasant diversion if you can look below the surface and muster the patience to appreciate it.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
A charming little movie.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
It's a spirited, eloquent film-delightfully offbeat, deliciously different and well worth investigating.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
With most of the book's major themes gutted, it begs the question: Who wants to see a film about salmon fishing in the Yemen?
Peter Debruge - Variety
Trust me: These are characters with whom it's a pleasure to spend a couple of hours.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
The withering political pungency, the commentary on terrorism and the searing critique of nationalism and patriotism that made the book a best-seller in the U.K. are replaced by a comforting surface sheen and a lot of unconvincing nonsense...
Greg Quill - Toronto Star
Make the leap, and you'll be delighted by a movie that's sugary goodness, a guilty pleasure.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Call me a sentimentalist, but I enjoyed myself - even during the scenes when there was a lot of talk about fish.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Fly fishing is offered as a path to peace in rom-com whose ample charms are threatened by unnecessary buzz-kills.
John DeFore - Hollywood Reporter
Salmon Fishing was a novel first and you can see how all these juggled balls could stay in the air on the page, but in movie form, many of them just seem extraneous.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
McGregor and Blunt have charm to spare and the no-bull instinct to cut to the heart of a scene. In the Dead Sea of Hollywood formula, their film is a distinct delight, brimming over with spirit and surprise.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
The film has a grand cast, with Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked at the center of this very clever tale of modern eco-issues intertwined with old-style political intrigues and New Age romance.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
As it stands, the best elements of the film become mired in the unwelcome narrative muck, branding Salmon Fishing in the Yemen the one that got away.
Kristal Cooper - We Got This Covered
Everything that happens is horribly predictable, and the tone varies from light and fluffy to over-the-top camp, especially with Kristin Scott Thomas as the cynical British press secretary.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Faith, serenity, dreams, possibilities, duty and honor, love . . . and fishing. "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" somehow ties them all together, and without so much as a kink in the line.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
...thanks to Simon Beaufoy's fantastically witty script, Salmon Fishing is a fun and often unpredictable ride.
Rebecca Barry - Flicks.co.nz
Guts most of the edgy features of the novel.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
Apart from some glaring orientalist, sweeping generalisations and characterisations of Yemeni and Arabic people was a cute and painfully predictable British comedy featuring a measured accomplished performance from Ewan McGregor.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
A bizarre and original comedy which offsets its narrative flaws with prevailing chemistry between Blunt and McGregor.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
These are scrunched script pages from Armando Iannucci's waste bin.
Ed Whitfield - The Ooh Tray
See! This is how you do romantic comedy!... You make it funny by putting real people in a situation that's a just tad fantastical and watch them cope with it.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A lame, sentimental enterprise.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Attractive, picture postcard cinematography from Terry Stacey adds to the appeal of a film that is easy on the eye and pleasantly undemanding in every other respect.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
Blunt and McGregor act beautifully and their tale is charming.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Is there any genre more wearying than the plodding, fat- brained adaptation of last year's book club favourite?
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
Co-star Tom Mison's ( ... ) character is so thinly sketched, so invisible for the most part - physically and emotionally - that he'll probably wonder in years to come if that's him on screen or his stand in.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
Unfortunately, these characters belong to different worlds that don't meld, cartoonish political satire and dopey romcom.
David Sexton - This is London
Lasse Hallstrom's beautifully-shot but at times cloyingly sentimental rom-com.
Catherine Jones - Liverpool Echo
It's hard to see the fish for the froth in Lasse Hallstrom's twee adaptation of Paul Torday's novel.
Amber Wilkinson - Eye for Film
Doesn't quite know whether it wants to be a full blown romantic drama, a geo-political commentary, a satirical comedy like The Thick Of It...
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
A sweet, warm and witty romance that satisfyingly washes over you.
Stella Papamichael - Radio Times
This is at times shamelessly hokey but forgivably so as it's engaging, uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
The kind of film you might find on the DVD shelf of a holiday cottage, and that's not necessarily a criticism.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
- Empire Magazine
Fishing becomes a metaphor for patience, tolerance and faith, suggesting that life's flow of natural instinct can sometimes be wondrously interrupted by rewarding opportunities to swim against the current.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Too light for its own good.
Tom Seymour - Little White Lies
McGregor and Blunt make fetching lovebirds, while Kristin Scott Thomas is off the scale in a rare comic outing.
Neil Smith - Total Film
The preachiness - about "faith" - gets so thick that the film completely loses all its early zingy lightness of touch.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
Enjoyable, sweet-natured British comedy-drama, enlivened by terrific performances from McGregor, Blunt and a scene-stealing Kristin Scott Thomas, though the tone is occasionally uneven and it's slightly let down by an unconvincing ending.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
It's a rom-com worth catching.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
The stars are endearing enough to keep things tolerable, though you may wonder why even McGregor's Scots brogue sounds artificially sweetened here.
Guy Lodge - Time Out
Fishing will hook you.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
... a thoroughgoing delight.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
As awkward as McGregor's geeky hero and almost as confused as the titular plan, Salmon Fishing is still very likable if you're prepared to take the bait.
Anna Smith - Empire Magazine
Salmon Fishing in Yemen isn't totally about salmon. Or Yemen. It's a love story. And a pretty good one.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
A picture in perhaps the most improbable of genres - the Middle East-based romantic comedy. That's right: Hallstrom has managed to make a feel-good movie with terrorists.
Rick Kisonak - Film Threat
For those who prefer their otherwise bitter politics lightly coated with sugar, this should suffice. A bolder remit wouldn't have hurt, though, given the source material.
Ed Gibbs - The Sun Herald
A great cast, some quirky humor, and a gentle romance will leave those who appreciate it feeling good by the end.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
While its performances are entertaining and premise is engaging, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen doesn't pack enough punch in its political satire or depth in its love story to sustain itself.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Hallstrom and Beaufoy have no great pretensions. They're out to deliver a feelgood film, but it's a very classy one.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
The two leads are attractive; it's a nice role for Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt is a good match for him.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
I had no issues with the charming Emily Blunt but I found Ewan McGregor's character too nerdish and boring.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
Talented actors are swimming upstream in clunky melodrama.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
Equally solid is Lasse Hallstrom's direction, keeping the film moving as gracefully as salmon swimming upstream.
Michael A. Smith - MediaMikes
Eccentric and engaging - a whimsical treat.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
- Austin Chronicle
All the great talents combined - from writer Simon Beaufoy and director Lasse Hallstrom to the principal cast - can't quite convince us of the film's overall veracity
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
The story itself may be about the collision between cynicism and faith, but jarring tonal shifts and lack of focus rarely work -- even in theory.
Scott Renshaw - Salt Lake City Weekly
Like a good fishing trip, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen does require a good deal of patience and faith, but it will hook you in the end.
Dan Lybarger - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Salmon Fishing is, at its heart, quite sweet and upbeat. And that's not a bad way to spend the evening.
Charles Ealy - Austin American-Statesman
Beaufoy serves up a script filled with deft dialogue and breezy charms, giving plenty of room for McGregor and Blunt to shine in spite of director Lasse Hallstrom's proclivity for easy sentimentality.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
The movie never quite commits to one tone, instead half-heartedly trying out wacky comedy, sweet romance and inspirational drama.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Taken on its own terms, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen marks a sweet little ripple in restorative waters.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
Uneven but entirely embraceable.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
At bottom a pretty basic romantic comedy of the comfort-food variety.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Hallstrom shores up his film with a terrific cast that can often make up for the parts that sag under the uneven weight of preciousness.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
"Salmon Fishing" should have remained a comedy. It could have been a really good one.
Paul Doro - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Attempts to make the world a better place through the virtues of fishing and does it in a funny and heartwarming way.
Cameron Williams - The Popcorn Junkie
McGregor brings quiet grace to an otherwise routine role of mid-life malaise; matching him for effortless charm is Blunt, who gets to bear the brunt of what passes for heavy lifting around these parts...
William Goss - Orlando Weekly
Sweet, Funny, Different
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
It's an engaging love story that should appeal to moviegoers with a flair for the offbeat.
Calvin Wilson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Mad, uplifting and gloriously twee -- a delight.
Roger Moore - McClatchy-Tribune News Service
A terribly disappointing, habitually mediocre feature, dissolving the potential insanity of the premise to make googly eyes with two characters who shouldn't be sent down the tunnel of love.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Crowd-pleaser has its charm
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Even the characters who are only briefly on-screen are memorable and funny.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Fishing for romance in an unlikely spot
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
Only Scott Thomas, biting off all her sentences like a piranha, rescues "Salmon Fishing" from being a by-the-numbers romantic comedy; you wish the redoubtable Ms. Maxwell had her own movie.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Overly sweet, arguably witty romantic comedy.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
While both Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor are enormously appealing actors, Hallstrom has made a movie that pretends it is something it's not -- namely, an intelligent romantic comedy.
John Anderson - Newsday
A sweet, charming couple in search of a movie sturdier than a wisp.
Jesse Hassenger - Filmcritic.com
It's one part romantic comedy, one part nature travelogue, one part globalization parable and one part cynical, "In the Loop"-style British political satire. In all, it's inoffensive but rather forgettable.
Stephen Silver - Patch
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
When trying to be lighthearted, fun, and quirky, it is the kind of entertaining, cute movie that can take you away from the troubles of life.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
This is a film that straddles many genres and starts off quite strong, but ultimately fails to keep up that terrific early pace and slowly sinks under the weight of trying to be too many things.(Full Content Review for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
It is a likable film with a likable cast and a fantastical story.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
An egregiously dopey mushfest where the only sparks between the stars are Nicholas-like.
Bill Weber - Slant Magazine
A rare catch: an intelligent romantic comedy that finds laughs without stooping for them, and wins the heart without pandering to it. The title is weird; the movie is a treat.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
With plot twists that are hard to swallow and a general aversion to any real conflict, it's a movie with a flow that's easy to slip into , and just as easy to slip out of and forget once it's through.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Hallstrom, in one of his best showings in years ... turns Salmon Fishing in the Yemen into a spirited, amusing and charming movie.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
I'll say this much for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, it's got a catchy title. But beware of films with catchy titles. The films themselves usually don't live up to them.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
A bland but likable romantic comedy that gets by mostly on the charm of its leads...but Scott's performance reminds us of how much sharper the film could have been.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Quirky romance mixes politics, charm; fine for teens.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
Whimsy and geopolitical metaphor collide and then wobble away dazed.
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
The predictably feel-good story arc too often leaves the film swimming upstream.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
While you're never quite sure where the movie is swinging at least it is swinging.
Matthew Razak - Flixist.com
It is an enjoyable piece of filmmaking with a cast of very talented actors.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
While the film does gloss over an assassination attempt and other examples of unrest among the Yemeni people, it is not designed to be an epic history lesson in their culture and politics.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Salmon Fishing elicits a little bit of goodwill in the midst of so much empty filmmaking.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
The central romance is so flat and the movie's tone is so aggressively (and obnoxiously) precious, the whole thing feels like a particularly dull fishing trip that just won't end.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
Enter forewarned. Or better yet - head upstream and don't be lured in at all.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
The worst kind of trifle.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
It has the U.K. knack for institutional/bureaucratic satire, and Kristin Scott Thomas has a small, vivid, funny role as a tough-talking politico who manages the project from behind the scenes.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
This could very well be early 2012's poster child for neither-here-nor-there mediocrity.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
[Even] the characters in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen recognize the inanity of the film's premise.
Matt Pais - RedEye
Makes use of pink-fleshed vertebrates as the inspiration for sweet romantic musings on love and life, faith and patience - and the courage to go against the flow.
Amy Biancolli - San Francisco Chronicle
Kirsten Scott Thomas steals the show as the press secretary, whether she is sending tart IMs or scooting her children out the door as she barks orders into her cell phone.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
...this one plays like "Local Hero" crossed with a less profane "In the Loop."
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A charming, slice of life, low-key rom-com.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
The science - and the politics - may be dodgy, but director Lasse Hallstrom crafts a witty, richly textured modern fairy tale that's an irresistible lure.
Betsy Sherman - Boston Phoenix
There's not much resonance, which is a shame because the film has a thoroughly engaging premise and the actors are charming.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
In the end Salmon Fishing reassures more than it excites, but all props are due to a commercial movie that helps demolish the stereotype of the Arab as bloodthirsty primitive.
Ella Taylor - NPR
When the recessive style works with the characters and the kooky international-incident story, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has an absorbing, old-fashioned sweetness.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
McGregor and Blunt have a sweet chemistry as the two people thrown together by this fishy tale.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Salmon Fishing quickly turns into exactly the sort of wet cardboard box of a movie its title suggests.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
The story hinges on three events that make little to no sense in the context of what comes before them.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
A quirky and thoroughly entertaining spiritual drama about the multiple meanings of faith.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor make an appealing duo in this offbeat romantic comedy which unfortunately changes midstream into something darker and far less engaging.
Kevin Lally - Film Journal International
Though toothless as satire the movie is a light,elegant, even credible romantic comedy
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Only Kristin Scott Thomas channeling In the Loop's Malcolm Tucker offers a spark; the rest is simply hokum designed to land overly sentimental suckers hook, line and sinker.
David Fear - Time Out New York
The first pure delight of 2012.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
Oddly enough, in much the same way that a master chef excels in miraculously transforming a soggy fish into a tasty dinner special, the director somehow magically spins a euphoric, emotionally convincing tale from an exceedingly eccentric premise or two.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Even when it evinces spasms of life, this film is, more or less, a dead fish.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
An almost prototypical dramedy from Lasse Hallstrom...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews