In some past years I understand that PIFF opened with a really good film--like "The Lives of Others." Not this year, unfortunately. "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" (3) thinks it's a romantic comedy--but it is really a bland and obvious exercise in which the plot elements feel like chess pieces being mechanically moved around the board--make that checkers pieces, not as complicated. There isn't a moment of emotional truth in the film, though Emily Blunt's winning smiles come close to tricking you into thinking they are truthful. Weirdly, the characters all comment on the pointlessness of the film's signature effort--introducing salmon fishing into the Yemen--as though they will come to reveal why that's not so, yet the film never delivers on that implied promise. Pleasant in a mindless sort of way but otherwise a waste of time.
Ah, well, now the real fun begins. Today, four films--from Spain, Denmark, Austria, and France!