If you were, say, a psychiatrist treating severely depressed people, it would probably be slightly concerning when several or none of those patients reported getting any happier. It might even make you a little depressed yourself. In the case of Simon Pegg and his floundering practice in Peter Chesholm’s Hector and the Search for Happiness, it’s enough to have him questioning every little bit of his increasingly draining existence.
Naturally, the remedy for undoing the blues when you’re well to-do and can apparently take that much time off work is to get out of London for awhile and find yourself. It’s not just a sense of self he’s looking for while he’s traveling around the world, but the real key to happiness itself – presumably so he can take that knowledge home with him and share it with his gloomy patients.
If you’re not already getting a little inkling of familiarity, the trailer will definitely help you solidify your The Secret Life of Walter Mitty comparisons, no problem. A deeply unhappy man unsatisfied with his home life, on a quest to travel the world and find out a little bit more about humanity; it’s fairly recognizable material, right down to the joyous monks (this time helping Pegg skype with his wife, Rosamund Pike, in the trailer). But Happiness appears to have substituted the surrealism and and strangeness found in the Mitty trailer and caked on the sugary sweetness. We’re going to feel good watching his adventures, and we’re going to like it, aren’t we? There’s only so much you can decipher from a guy getting kidnapped and then released because his captors think his happiness mission is cool.
Also featuring Toni Collette as a lost love who has definitely moved on without him, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård and Jean Reno, the film certainly has a stacked cast that could turn this quest for happiness into something more grounded and complex than shown in the trailer. Perhaps that bout of misery has a little more to do with letting Collette get away than he thinks?
Check out the trailer below:
There is no U.S. release date for Hector and the Search for Happiness at this time.