There’s no doubt that Simon Pegg is a star, but after dozens of feature films it’s safe to say his biggest successes — both financially and memorably — have been as parts of franchises. Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and his work with Edgar Wright and Nick Frost (yes, I’m counting “The Cornetto Trilogy” as a franchise) have all become part of our collective film conscience, but how many of his solo films can you name? He’s had six leading roles in non-franchise movies… even if you can name a couple of them can you honestly say they were all that good?
As a fan of Pegg’s I always hope for the best with each new film of his, and thankfully the trailer for his latest gives me reason to expect the best this time too. Hector and the Search for Happiness is the story of a psychiatrist (Pegg) who realizes one day that not only is he unsatisfied with his own life but that he’s clearly in no position to be helping anyone else. Determined to explore what it is that makes people happy and content with their lives he sets off on a trip around the world where he encounters people, platitudes and the desire for a penis. (I promise this will make sense soon.)
Check out the trailer below.
Is it just me or does it bear some comparison to Ben Stiller’s recent The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? I’m not claiming a copycat here, just that this film (and presumably the novel it’s based on) seems focused on some very similar themes. Stiller’s film is gorgeous but simplistic and drops the ball when it comes to its message, but based solely on this trailer Hector look to be a less direct, more profound and equally well-photographed take on the subject of finding and making your own path to happiness in life.
Pegg is the star, but a strong supporting cast, some beautiful cinematography and what appears to be some wonderfully heartfelt moments all look to combine into an uplifting and fun adventure. Honestly, I’d see this for Rosamund Pike alone.
Here’s the official synopsis for the film.
Hector (Simon Pegg) is a quirky psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his humdrum life. As he tells his girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike), he feels like a fraud: he hasn’t really tasted life, and yet he’s offering advice to patients who are just not getting any happier. So Hector decides to break out of his deluded and routine driven life. Armed with buckets of courage and child-like curiosity, he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive secret formula for true happiness. And so begins a larger than life adventure with riotously funny results. Based on the world-wide best-selling novel of the same name, Hector and the Search for Happiness is a rich, exhilarating, and hilarious tale from director Peter Chelsom, starring Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno and Christopher Plummer.“
Hector and the Search for Happiness opens in limited theatrical release this fall.