The film centers on Harriet (Blunt), a London representative, and Alfred (McGregor), a fisheries expert, as they try to realize a sheik's dream to bring his favorite sport to his home country. It was a really lovely film that wasn't overly saccharine like so many other romantic comedies. The stars had wonderful chemistry and the film drew a range of emotions from amusement to pity. Somehow I had managed to attend the screening with a mostly over-60 audience - a great crowd to laugh and gasp with.
I openly admit that I'm not always the most critical of films since I am very easily drawn into them but here are two critics that have expressed the words that I cannot find...
Amy Biancolli for the San Francisco Chronicle: "...the film's emotional complexities don't allow for much of the canned sentiment that normally gets dished out in romantic dramas; what emerges instead... is endearingly tender and complicated." (full review)
Ann Hornaday for the Washington Post: "...a surprisingly lush, endearing little film, in which a swelling sense of romanticism thoroughly banishes even the most far-fetched improbabilities... less a classic fish-out-of-water tale than a fish-in-strange-waters tale, a study in diametric opposites that finds unexpected synchronies and moments of almost mystical harmony. Viewers who take the sheik's advice and suspend their disbelief, even for a moment, may well find themselves hooked." (full review)
Additional stand-out performances were given by Kristen Scott Thomas and Amr Waked. Thomas played Patricia Maxwell, the Prime Minister's Press Secretary, and provided many of the sharp comic moments in the film. Egyptian actor Waked helped provide some of the more contemplative moments as the ambitious sheik trying to bring peace to his country in his own sort of way.
Below is an entertaining interview with the main stars as well as the trailer.