‘Search’ for your happy place somewhere else

‘Hector and the Search for Happiness’ disappoints.

Exploring strange new worlds? Check. Seeking out new life and new civilization? Check. Bolding going where no highly restrained psychiatrist has gone before? Check.

No, Simon Pegg isn’t starring in another “Star Trek” flick (yet), rather he’s trotting the globe looking for something to smile about in “Hector and the Search for Happiness.” It’s basically a British version of the Julia Roberts flick “Eat Pray Love,” where a lost soul travels around the world to find herself.

Pegg plays Hector, a psychiatrist who is long past listening and caring about his patients. His life is highly regimented and his girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) is an enabler of his routine, sending him out the door each day with a Donna Reed kiss on the cheek. But things are bubbling under the surface for good old Hector, who can’t figure out how to be happy.

His only solution, he decides, is to take inspiration from his beloved Tintin comics and head off around the world looking for what brings people happiness, like in Shanghai, where a rich gent he met on the flight (Stellan Skarsgård) shows him how the wealthy find happiness (they buy it, fyi). Then he’s off to the next locale, filling up his journal with drawings and glib one liners about happiness.

“Hector,” adapted from a French novel by François Lelord, likely won’t find you ultimate happiness, but it will probably make you smile a bit. If not, at least the exotic locations in the film are beautiful behold.

Directed by Peter Chelsom
Starring Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer
Rated R

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