Lasse Hallström’s charming and witty adaptation of Paul Torday’s bestselling novel stars Ewan McGregor as Fred Jones, a fisheries expert and academic who works for the British government. When he’s approached by Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) with a plan to introduce salmon into the waterways of Yemen for the purpose of sport fishing, he laughs off the scheme, claiming it impossible. Harriet acts as the British representative of an amiable and benevolent sheikh (Amr Waked), who fulfills his love of fishing on frequent trips to his estate in the ruggedly gorgeous Scottish highlands. The sheik believes that fishing creates a spiritual connection between humans and nature, and feels that bringing the sport to his country would benefit the people.
While Fred ponders the idea, the proposal catches the ear of the British prime minister’s spokesperson, Bridget Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas). Desperate to detract attention from some unwanted publicity, Bridget sees Harriet’s idea as the perfect opportunity to promote what will appear to be a heartfelt story of British goodwill in the Middle East. Despite Fred’s protests, he soon finds himself working on a project that seems not only frivolous but absolutely unfeasible in the arid land of Yemen. His skepticism is matched only by the sheikh’s boundless optimism. As the mission begins to succeed, Fred grows closer to Harriet. Despite the many obstacles that stand in the way of their romance, their relationship affords an unexpected and welcome sense of hope for two lonely individuals.
Opens in theaters Friday, March 9, 2012.