Lasse Hallstrom, director of such middlebrow touchstones as Chocolat (2000) and The Cider House Rules (1999), brings his art-house honey to this limp adaptation of a comic novel by Paul Torday. A British scientist from a government fisheries agency (Ewan McGregor) is strong-armed by his bosses into supervising a private project to introduce salmon into the waters of Yemen for the fishing pleasure of a wealthy sheikh. His partner in this dubious venture is an alluring agent for an international real estate firm (Emily Blunt), and Hallstrom points them toward a nerd-babe romance along the lines of Ball of Fire or The Lady Eve. Kristin Scott Thomas, who’s been developing a sideline in comic harridan roles, gets off some good lines as a cynical British bureaucrat who thinks the sheikh’s dumb human-interest story will displace the Iraq war from the headlines. But Hallstrom, the old softie, can’t resist turning this into an inspirational tale, a freshwater Field of Dreams.