Pegg plays Hector, an eccentric yet irresistible London psychiatrist in crisis: his patients are just not getting any happier! He’s going nowhere. Then one day, armed with buckets of courage and an almost child-like curiosity, Hector breaks out of his sheltered vacuum of a life into a global quest to find out if happiness exists. More importantly, if it exists for Hector. And so begins a colorful, exotic, dangerous and hysterical journey.
(synopsis via heyguys.co.uk)
Happiness is one slippery little sucker.
Just when you think you have it pinned down, a rainbow of Hallmark warm and fuzzies in your grasp, it slips away to goodness knows where replaced by ennui, fleeting contentment or in worse case scenarios, distress and sadness.
So if it is so intangible, so hard to find and then to hold, why do we value it so highly and place its attainment so far up our To Do List for life?
Perhaps it’s because it is that rare that we want it so badly, and besides who wants to feel awful if you can feel, well, you know, HAPPY?
It’s a quest that makes perfect sense to Hector (Simon Pegg), a mild mannered psychiatrist, trapped along with his wife Clara (Rosamund Pike), in a middling, less than thrilling existence, who, like Walter Mitty before him, charges forth out of his cocoon, hoping to find the elusive thing that is happiness.
Quite whether he will find it is one thing but as Christopher Plummer’s Professor Coreman reminds him at one point, happiness is not so much about its attainment as its pursuit.
That is pretty much what Walter Mitty found too, in the recently released The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, starring Ben Stiller, with which this film has been compared on more than a few sites.
There has been a sense expressed that we’ve been-there-and-done-that with Stiller’s film, and to be fair Hector and the Search for Happiness does have that same epic, man on a quest look to it even down to the mountainous scenery that crops in both films.
But at this point all we have is this trailer to compare it to, and frankly while I loved Stiller’s film on yearning for a much more fulfilled life, Hector and the Search For Happiness appears to have a more gentle, almost whimsical edge to it that is appealing.
It will be interesting to see how the two compare, but as someone caught in the midst of redefining their life, and trying to hard to divine what it worth pursuing and what will make me happy, I don’t think there is such a thing as too many films on the subject.
After all as long as humanity has been around, the search for happiness has been happening and it’s doubtful it will stop anytime soon.
Hector and the Search for Happiness, which also stars Toni Collette, Jean Reno and Stellan Skarsgård, opens in the northern autumn in the UK; release dates for Australia and USA are unknown at this stage.