A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen's messages are about the importance of peace, patience, tolerance, humility, and faith.
Positive Role Models
Alfred and Harriet are as different, in both personality and disposition, as two people can be. But in working toward a common goal, they discover much to appreciate in each other. They're both clear about not wanting to be hurtful of others and are quite respectful of their complicated individual situations.
Violence & Scariness
An assassin attempts to kill one of the characters with a gun; later, a dam is destroyed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman takes off her pants and joins her boyfriend in bed (they're mostly shown cuddling). Earlier, they're seen kissing. Another couple is shown just finishing having sex (no nudity).
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"F--k" is shown typed on a computer, with asterisks in place of most of the letters; later, a mother says the word while speaking to her teenage son. Also occasional use of words including "bloody hell," "bastard," "ass," "damn," "oh my God, " "goddamn," and "bollocks."
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Products & Purchases
Mention of Target and the names of a few fishing magazines.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking. One character smokes cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a quirky romance with a mish-mash of themes that includes love, international relations, faith, war, marital infidelity, and fishing. Overall the movie has a genteel feel, and though there's some salty language (including "ass," "bastard, and one use of "f--k"), it's not excessive. Expect some kissing and a couple of love scenes that imply sex, though there's no graphic nudity. There's also some social drinking and smoking, and use of a gun by an attempted assassin. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Adapted from the novel by Paul Torday, this captivating film succeeds for some of the same reasons it infuriates. It approaches its storyline with such wide-eyed innocence, creating wonderful moments of pure heart, that it seems -- depending on which side you're on -- either charming or naive. The central romance between Fred and Harriet unfolds sweetly and believably, even if they seem like such disparate characters. The challenges to their pairing are daunting -- an unsatisfying marriage, a missing boyfriend -- but we root for them. Despite its seeming absurdity, like bringing salmon fishing to the Yemeni desert, their romantic enterprise seems rather noble and disarming.
And then there's the movie's political plot; with Kristin Scott Thomas at the helm, it's biting and hilarious. But tonally, it's a mismatch. Add the sheik's mysticism, his talk of faith and a world that could benefit greatly from the wisdom of the fishermen, and what you get is a bit of a jumble. (The movie doesn't much explore the sheik's motivations; the idea that he wants to bring salmon fishing to the Yemen is taken at face value as a positive, never mind the problems locals have with it.) But the film is both warmhearted and lovely to look at, and perhaps that's enough.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.