It's not Mother's Day yet, but let's say you're taking her (or grandma or a favorite aunt or any lady of a certain age you happen to be fond of) to the movies and you already know that John Carter isn't really going to be their thing. Considering that, in the course of your relationship, this person has most likely provided you with at least one -- and most likely more than one -- soul-restoring meatloaf or birthday cake or bowl of homemade chicken soup, here's your chance to return the comfort food favor. Obviously, assuming that your mom will want to watch the film I'm about to describe is something of a sweeping, possibly sexist, generalization. I have a friend whose grandmother raised him and taught him to love horror movies like Bloodsucking Freaks. She'll probably be left cold this time out.

But it's generally safe to assume that a majority of moms will enjoy a film in which a British fisheries bureaucrat (a yearning, buttoned-down Ewan McGregor, the actor who goes full-frontal more than anyone, here playing fully clothed and stuffy), along with an asset management consultant (Emily Blunt, doing sexy-prim like she invented the concept), is assigned to the folly of helping a billionaire sheikh (Amr Waked) achieve his personal goal of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the Yemen. Never mind that it's an impossible, idiotic idea and that it will involve everyone, including the salmon, going against their ingrained ideas about life, love, sport, instinct, nature, politics and culture, the outcome is going to be adorable and that's what matters most. It's the kind of gentle, cozy, warm-hearted sit-down where a conversational punch line involves McGregor asking Blunt to "forgive the grammatical inadequacies of" his most recent romantic compliment. She does, by the way. She wants to kiss him ever so much.

Nothing is left to chance. No surprises pop up that can't be smoothed over in a quick, sweet, dignified manner. Nobody isn't cute. Nobody is too mean (well, except those salmon-fishing-hating terroristic enemies of the sheikh, that is, but they'll get theirs, just you wait). Nobody important dies on camera. Problematic real life facts about culture clashes, religious conflict, international relations and the political status of women in the Middle East never interrupts the love-in. It's just not that kind of movie. You could fault it for that, or for being silly and thoughtless all around or even for just being boring in the way that all movies with easily telegraphed endings are. Or you could just go with it. Why don't you just go with it? It won't be messy like real fishing at all, more like shooting them in a heart-shaped barrel.


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