We watched this gem of a film on Netflix last night. I knew from the opening sequence (above) that it would be amusing, to say the least. The culture clash between America and Saudi Arabia is quite extreme and Tom Hanks’ character is definitely a fish out of water. But over the course of a couple of hours, he learns to navigate the shark infested world of business in a place where tomorrow might never come.
There was a quip that Alan makes partway through his longish sojourn in the Kingdom: when asked if he was alright, after receiving some medical attention, he says, “They would need a golden bullet.”
This allusion to Lawrence of Arabia is a hint that, like T.E. Lawrence, he would finally find himself there.
In the beginning, I thought it was going to be a comedy of errors, human foibles, and culture differences. By the end, I realized it was a stylized romantic adventure.
If you like Tom Hanks, you will enjoy this pilgrim’s progress.