Release Date: 8/14/14
I like Simon Pegg, and I thought he was very good in this role. Hector and the Search for Happiness was very funny at times. Yet, I wasn’t crazy about this movie and I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Pegg plays a psychiatrist. He is caught in a rut and is unhappy, so he goes on a world-wide trip to find out what makes people happy. He befriends people on plane rides, in hotel bars, in Japanese nightclubs and asks them what makes them happy. He compiles a list in his notebook. Some of the sayings are profound, some are wrong, some are what unhappy people think would make them happy. I don’t know that “preachy” is the right word, but it is the only one I can come up with to describe how I felt about it. I knew where the producers were leading us and almost got a “be happy with what you have vibe.” [That can be taken both positively and negatively. I took it negatively.]
[spoiler alert] I was a bit confused at the end. Pegg undergoes a brain scan and we are told that Pegg’s emotions are blocked. Then his emotions are magically unblocked when he gets a call from his girlfriend. Why? I would have thought the near death experience would unblock them. He spoke to her a couple times through Skype during his journey, why didn’t his emotions “unblock” then? Maybe I had a hard time believing that what made Pegg happy was his girlfriend, when the very first night he was away from her, he cheated on her. The very first night. [/spoiler alert]
So far I have given Hector and the Search for Happiness a negative review, but perhaps I read too much into it. Maybe if I just sat back and watched it I would have been entertained by a funny movie. (Though the funniest bit felt like it was straight from a Mr. Bean sketch, not that there’s anything wrong with that.) I’ll give it a passable rating, with the thought that most people will find this an uplifting, funny, lighthearted movie.
WWYT Rating: 6.49
IMDB Rating: 6.9