Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014)

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Director: Peter Chelsom
Writers: Maria von Heland, Peter Chelsom, Tinker Lindsay, Francois Lelord
Production Companies: Egoli Tossell Film, Film Afrika Worldwide, Construction Film, Erfttal Film, Head Gear Films, Metrol Technology, Screen Siren Pictures, Wild Bunch
Stars: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike
Genre: Drama/ Comedy/ Adventure

What It’s About: A psychiatrist travels the globe in search of what makes people happy.

How I Watched It: Alone in my apartment. Evening.

Thoughts: Hector (Pegg) lives a somewhat formulaic life. He goes to work, he comes home to his beautiful girlfriend Clara (Pike), rinse and repeat. Hector’s a psychiatrist and as he continues to grow more and more irritated with listening to his patients’ incessant ramblings about how unhappy they are, he takes it upon himself to discover exactly what “happiness” is. Hector packs up in a hurry and embarks on an adventure around the globe, hoping that he can find the key. All the while, he hopes that maybe he’ll discover what happiness means to him.

I love Simon Pegg. He was my main draw to this film. While I enjoy nerdy, overly-cheesy Pegg (as he’s often portrayed), I really do enjoy him taking on these more serious roles. Don’t get me wrong–this isn’t just a big ol’ sappy drama the entire time. Pegg’s comedy still shines through, and it’s heartwarmingly sincere. I really enjoy Hector’s transformation throughout the film–he goes through quite a roller coaster of emotions. Pegg does an outstanding job of staying on for the ride.

Rosamund Pike is so incredibly beautiful and so freakin’ talented. You go girl. This is definitely a slightly more light-hearted film than the last one I saw her starring in (Gone Girl–yikes). She’s not the main focus of the film, but her melodramatic reactions to Hector via Skype are fairly memorable. I sort of found myself not liking her for most of the film–but in the end, I couldn’t help but love her character. Kudos for the emotional rollercoaster, Ms. Pike.

While Pegg and Pike are really the only two characters that get much screen time, there is an entire ensemble of motley cast members. Hector meets lots of different people along his journey for happiness that include the likes of Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno, Toni Collette, and Christopher Plummer. Really, the entire ensemble of cast members was fantastic–they give you a realistic world-travel feel as you’re watching the film, and they all come across quite genuinely. 

What this movie has successfully done is to peak my wanderlust–gee thanks. I think that speaks to its impact, though. This movie is brimming with adventure, and it makes you want to go have some of your own. I enjoy movies like that–sort of a silent call to action. Aside from feelings of wanderlust, this is just a great feel-good movie…at least by the end. There were some pretty bittersweet moments in there.

My Rating: Huzzah!

Great feel-good movie, with a wonderful ensemble cast. P.S. Simon Pegg, you can be my psychiatrist any day. 😉

Where Can I Watch It?: Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, or for rent elsewhere.

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