Saturday 24 February 2018

Hector and the Search for Happiness (15A): 'Simon Pegg's finest non-Edgar Wright outing'

Simon Pegg in 'Hector and the Search for Happiness'
Simon Pegg in 'Hector and the Search for Happiness'

Doug Whelan

Starring Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgard and directed by Peter Chelsom

Simon Pegg's film career has two distinct sides: his work with Edgar Wright in the hits Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End, and everything else. With that in mind it's safe to say Hector and the Search for Happiness is the finest non-Wright outing he has been in.

Pegg plays Hector, a successful psychiatrist who has a crisis when he gets a sudden feeling that his life is going nowhere. Contentment is one thing, but a sudden feeling that he might not be happy leads Hector to undertake a journey around the world on which he samples different ways of life, meets old and new friends and tries to figure out what, if anything, is missing from his life.

Pegg's easy charm and likability is put to good use, as are the supporting cast. But the film's episodic nature is a little laborious, especially during an implausible middle section in which Hector finds himself at the mercy of a drug-smuggling gang. That ill-advised chapter aside, this is a charming comedy drama with plenty to say for itself and one that just might leave you considering dropping everything and hitting the road.

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