Hector and the Search for Happiness

A typical psychiatrist, this guy is always searching for happiness. What could have been a soppy, maudlin exercise in mediocrity, is instead an extremely well-acted comedy with more than its share of drama and excitement. Based on Francois Lelord's novel "Le voyage d'Hector ou la recherche de bonheur," this R-rated comedy, co-written and directed by Peter Chelsom (Shall We Dance -2004), includes adventure in exotic places, e.g., China, Tibet, Africa and Los Angeles, plus domestic drama in London; so you'll get your money's worth.

Here is the cast:
  • Simon Pegg ("The World's End") Hector wants to know what makes people happy around the world. He is pretty sure HE isn't, but wants to see what happiness looks like. We start with our hero in his well-ordered home and watch it all come apart.
  • Rosamund Pike ("Jack Reacher") Clara very capably keeps the home fires burning. Isn't that enough to make him happy? Considering what she finds in the sock drawer, maybe not....
  • Stellan Skarsgård ("Thor: The Dark World") Edward says Hector is the last person on earth with whom he would want to spend any time. Watch his face as our clumsy hero takes a seat next to him in First Class!
  • Toni Collette ("Lucky Them") Agnes conveys more with a glance than most actors with pages of dialogue. Yup! Hector is in for a session of TRUTH!
  • Jean Reno ("Alex Cross") Diego tries to dismiss happiness...and our hero ...with prejudice. At least a psychiatrist understands pharmaceuticals.
  • Christopher Plummer ("Elsa and Fred") Popular Professor Coreman TEACHES happiness! With wit, understanding and hi-tech tools.
The travel aspects of this film provide an authentic feel for various parts of the world, even though he stays in touch with that Tibetan monk via Skype! I also enjoyed it when Hector lost patience with his patients. BTW, the diary in which he records his journey is a delight.

There is not a weak actor in this roster, but Collette and Skarsgård deserve special mention. I'd like to remind you that Pegg is versatile and talented, in case you have him typecast as "just" a comic. I always expect his characters to have a sweet center, and Hector delivers.
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This is the international trailer:
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