Hector (Simon Pegg) leads a very organized life with his neurotic girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike), more than happy to accommodate him in the way he chooses to live. He even manages to have that same sense of control and organization at work as a psychiatrist. But some thing happens which makes Hector to not so much feel trapped by his eccentric yet routine filled life but in need of some thing more. It is why he finds himself leaving London to go on journey to discover what makes people happy and hopefully ending up in America and seeing Agnes (Toni Collette) who he once loved.
"Hector and the Search for Happiness" is one of those movies which sort of left me in two minds, torn between what it is saying and how it is saying it. What I mean is that during the set up to "Hector and the Search for Happiness" we have a movie reaching for comedy with Simon Pegg giving us some quirkiness as Hector. It is fun but at times, as profanity is thrown in to the mix in a sorry attempt to be funny, it seems like it is trying too hard to fit that Simon Pegg brand of comedy with his responses and reaction being very much the sort of thing you get from Pegg in many of his movies.
But like with Hector's journey of discovery "Hector and the Search for Happiness" takes us on a journey as well as this movie goes from the humour of Simon Pegg to emotional depth and soul searching as Hector not only discovers so much about happiness but also about himself. And this is where for me the movie works as it is full of discoveries when it comes to happiness, giving us short sentences surrounding happiness as life such as avoiding unhappiness is no the road to happiness and listening is loving. Now whilst some of the discoveries when it comes to happiness and embracing life are a bit of a miss some of them are spot on such as making comparisons can spoil your happiness.
And to be honest that is it as whilst "Hector and the Search for Happiness" has a good cast with Christopher Plummer and Toni Collette rounding of the movie nicely it really is a simple movie. Hector goes on this journey of self discovery, has a few scrapes and encounters and this is accompanied by some simple philosophy about happiness.
What this all boils down to is that "Hector and the Search for Happiness" is definitely worth a watch and it has some good lessons in it. But this isn't a great movie because around the depth some of the humour ends up a miss.