The Salmon Fishing in the Yemen reviews are in, and while the public seems hooked the critics aren't exactly set on the drama based on Paul Torday's novel about a scientist (Ewan McGregor) who introduces both salmon and fly fishing to the Middle East.
The movie, which also stars Emily Blunt, debuted at 18 theaters this past weekend and pulled in $240,000, according to CBS films. You can watch the trailer on YouTube.
So the public also appears to like the film. On RottenTomatoes.com, for example, 72% of users said they liked the film and gave it an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Next weekend it will play in some 40 theaters, which will be a better measuring stick for long-term success of the film.
But the critics have had a luke-warm response to the film, with 2 ½ - 3 stars being the typical rating I've seen from the typical cast of movie reviewers. Here's a quick rundown of some of the critics' reviews of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen:
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: "A pleasant fantasy with a crackerjack title, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"is a charming film whose few attempts at seriousness are best forgotten or ignored. When Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor are your stars, that is easy to do."
- Roger Ebert, SunTimes.com (2 ½ stars): "This perhaps sounds like a hilarious movie. So it could be, in the hands of the masters of classic British comedy. Unfortunately, the director is the Swede Lasse ("Chocolat"), who sees it as a heart-warming romance and doesn't take advantage of the rich eccentricity in the story."
- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post (2 ½ stars): "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is less a classic fish-out-of-water tale than a fish-in-strange-waters tale, a study in diametric opposites that finds unexpected synchronies and moments of almost mystical harmony. Viewers who take the sheik's advice and suspend their disbelief, even for a moment, may well find themselves hooked.
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone (3 stars): "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."
Photo courtesy CBS Films.