Simon Pegg stumbles once more without partner in crime Nick Frost by his side with Hector And The Search For Happiness, a wretched excuse for a British comedy. Hector (Pegg), a well-to-do psychiatrist, leaves his perfect life and perfect other half (Rosamund Pike) behind in a bid to discover the true meaning of happiness. Directed by Peter Chelsom, who helped to adapt François Lelord source material, the film is a mostly insufferable travelogue that bears no resemblance to reality. As hard as he tries, there’s nothing Pegg can do to make Hector a likeable character. As a result, all of the experiences he has and discoveries he makes are tedious and obvious, rather than profound and life-changing. The fact that the technical components make the whole thing easy on the eye (locations such as the Himalayas and Africa are captured beautifully) isn’t much compensation considering the hackneyed dialogue, meaningless sentimentality and paper-thin characters that resides underneath. Pike, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer are nothing more than faces, none allowed to display their true capability as actors. If there’s a positive to be taken away from Hector And The Search For Happiness, it’s that British cinema doesn’t get much worse than this.
A longer version of this review was first posted on CineVue.