I fell in love with Kristin Scott Thomas when I saw The English Patient in the theatres. She’s always fun in films but in this, but seemed to be the only one aware she was doing a comedy in this. Certainly director Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat) wasn’t so sure; and Simon Beaufoy, who gave us Slumdog Millionaire, really just gave us a very funny movie title.
Thomas plays a press secretary who should’ve been in In the Loop – a movie that was actually funny.
Here’s the story: McGregor plays a fishing expert that’s unhappy in his marriage. The only thing that seems to make him happy is talking about fish. And hanging out with Emily Blunt, a consultant trying to help Sheikh Muhammed (played well by the charming Amr Waked). The sheikh loves fly-fishing for salmon and wants to bring that to the desert. Thomas knows a good story when she sees it, and she’s hook, line and sinker into this one.
It was a bit unclear as to why some terrorists tried to sabotage this project. Of course, in a romance, you want chemistry between the leads. McGregor and Blunt provide that, but maybe they just needed more talk about salmon to really get things moving. It was about as romantic as Alan Arkin talking about fish guts to a couple in Indian Summer.
Now, if you want an eccentric British scientist talking about fish, rent Submarine – one of the best movies of last year. And although McGregor was convincing as the nebbish scientist, you should instead rent Beginners from last year.
If fly-fishing is something you just have to watch instead of participate in – rent A River Runs Through It.
I read an interview where McGregor talked about having to learn to fly-fish for this role. Yawn. Nothing more boring than listening to an actor say he went on a ride-along with a cop for a few days to prepare for a role.
Oh, and hearing them say “Dr. Jones” every few minutes makes you think of Harrison Ford whether you want to or not.
For a movie that starts off charming and humorous (lines like “I don’t know anybody that goes to church anymore. On Sundays, we go to Target.”)…I wish it would’ve been that intelligent romantic comedy I hoped to see. At least Friends with Kids is still at a few theatres. It pulled that off.
Instead of wondering if the salmon will swim upstream in a desert river, you should walk upstream, and see what’s playing in the next cinema.
This gets 2 stars out of 5.