Chemistry is something not even the best of actors can fake. Either an on-screen couple has it, or they don't. Lucky for the romantic dramedy "Salmon Fishing in Yemen," stars Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor have it. Their inspired pairing makes this oddball tale entertaining and, best of all, endearing.
In the Lasse Hallstrom ("Chocolat")-directed film, Blunt plays Harriet, representative to a visionary sheik who will spare no expense to bring the sport of salmon fishing to the desert (yeah, you heard that right). McGregor gives a funny turn as Fred, Britain's leading fisheries expert (yes, that's a title), who is enlisted to make the sheik's dreams a reality.
It'd be an understatement to say that Fred isn't the biggest fan of the endeavor. But when Fred sees what the sheik is really on to, he falls for the plan, and for Harriet. The problem with the latter? Fred is married, and Harriet has a boyfriend in the military.
While this setup doesn't necessarily seem like the ideal premise for a romantic comedy starring two of Britain's hottest exports, it actually works quite wonderfully. The stellar script by Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Beaufoy ("Slumdog Millionaire") never makes the story seem as far-fetched as it actually is.
That aforementioned chemistry between Blunt and McGregor also helps. They're so dynamic together, it's a wonder they've never been paired up before.
While the two bring a whole lot of heart to the mix, Kristin Scott Thomas takes a break from the French filmmaking scene to return to her native country and deliver big laughs as the prime minister's hardwired press secretary. With a Blackberry seemingly attached to her hip, and big hair to rival Margaret Thatcher, Thomas is a total riot. You can't help but love her, even as she goes about destroying the bond between Harriet and Fred, all in the name of a grand PR stunt. Oh, those Brits.