It's not often that flicks about being positive actually come out. Most of the time, it seems there isn't enough conflict there. But with last years The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and now this years Hector and the Search for Happiness, fans of adventures in positive thinking have been surprisingly well taken care of of late.
Hector is a Psychiatrist who has apparently long since lost touch with reality, simply living the same mundane day over and over, always assuming he's happy... until one of his patients hits a nerve in session and rattles off whatever cage Hector's been protecting himself with. Almost immediately, Hector begins to wonder if he himself is happy, and further still begins to wonder how someone can actually be happy in the first place. So he decides to take a trip across the world to research the concept of happiness.
Simon Pegg is, of course, a joy to watch here. He's always been whimsical, but something about this content really fits his personality. I feel like this was a really important flick for him to make because it so well captures his life philosophy. Rosamund Pike is quirky and wonderful. She brings so much color to Hector's world, and with very little effort informs Hector's own personality with her overbearingness.
Peter Chelsom did a solid job of bringing the elements of this film together. Though between him, Maria von Heland, and Tinker Lindsay I wonder if they couldn't have managed a slightly more fulfilling finale. They hit a really good nerve and then manage to get just a little too cheeky. But this is really a very minor flaw in the grand scheme of things. I just worry that the ultimate point of the film may be getting missed by some because of a very surprisingly Hollywood conclusion.
All that being said, I really had a good time with Hector and the Search for Happiness. It asked questions that we should be considering every day, but most people don't even think about. And it left me with a sense of positivity and joy that most movies don't think to offer.