Hector And The Search for Happiness

*1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"The plot is pants down puerile"

Is this the same Simon Pegg who made Shaun Of The Dead? Not quite. He didn't write Hector, nor direct it. He plays the lead and should have known better, or at least read the script, before submitting his audience to a sentimental travelogue which, for reasons unknown, garnered a 15 certificate.

Hector is a psychiatrist who leads a dull life with a control freaked girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) and a job that fills his time but not his spirit. He wants something more. He wants to know what makes people happy.

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He takes a sabbatical and flies to China, falls in love with a prostitute, goes to Tibet and meets a wise monk (aren't they all?), is kidnapped in Africa by a terrorist group, meets a drug baron (Jean Reno) in a bar and finishes up in L.A, checking out his old flame (Toni Collette) from uni who is married with kids.

All the time he is writing down homilies and platitudes on the subject of happiness. Everyone speaks English which makes it easier and less authentic, as if anyone cares.

Pegg is back playing the naive nice guy, wide eyed and falling over the furniture. Pike, as a high-flying PR person, has to look sexy in bra and panties and make believe that she loves Hector - that's a stretch.

The plot is pants down puerile. Genuine contenders, like Reno and Collette, who deserve so much better, make you feel sorry for actors. Somehow a good idea has been deep fried in corn syrup and dished up as a feel icky movie.

Reviewed on: 12 Aug 2014
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Hector And The Search for Happiness packshot
A psychiatrist goes hunting for the secret of happiness.
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Director: Peter Chelsom

Writer: Maria von Heland, Peter Chelsom, Tinker Lindsay, based on the novel by Fran├žois Lelord

Starring: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno, Christopher Plummer

Year: 2014

Runtime: 120 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK, Germany, Canada, South Africa

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