Scene 21 – Hector and The Search for Happiness

So in 2013, we the audiences were treated to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which saw Ben Stiller undertake a world-traversing voyage to understand the meaning of life…which is apparently a big deal. This time around sees Simon Pegg trying to get in touch with his happy-self, as weird as that sounds… in Hector and the Search for Happiness.


Based on French psychiatrist François Lelord’s best-selling novel of the same name, and directed by Peter Chelsom, Simon Pegg plays our dissatisfied protagonist Hector; a quirky psychiatrist who realises his methods aren’t really helping his patients, and so embarks on a trip around the world, reaching destinations such as Shanghai and The Himalayas,  in a bid to discover the secret of happiness….ps. its cake, lots and lots of cake…


Chelsom does well to capture the energy of the various locales, and if nothing else the aesthetics within the film are mostly impressive, all the more so when you consider the tight budget…especially in comparison to Walter Mitty. As for the film’s relatable messages, the bulk of them hit home, though the heavy-handed manner in which their executed can leave much to be desired. Sadly, it’s not the only problem, with an unfocused  screenplay. This is exemplified in the final act; Hector’s ultimate realization is extremely sudden to say the  least and feels like it comes completely out of nowhere.


Pegg is known more for his comedy chops than his dramatic acting, but here the focus is on the latter. Of course, as an actor Pegg proves up to the task in the emotional moments, but even for an actor as good as Pegg he cannot always imbue Hector with likability, as written our protagonist is too immature and self-indulgent to inspire much empathy. A prime example of Hector’s less than endearing decision-making comes when he cheats on his girlfriend days after departing for his voyage….cue every Beyonce song!


A supporting cast that includes Stellan Skarsgård, Christopher Plummer and Toni Collette is always going to class up proceedings, and they are all enjoyable enough in their roles, but there is little cohesive power between their characters’ musings on happiness. Again, like in the instances with Pegg, it isn’t down to the actors faults more so that of the screenplay.


So just like your older sibling…It’s not as profound as it thinks it is, and the screenplay disappoints more than it impresses, but Hector and the Search for Happiness is a harmless, solidly performed romp. Those pursuing true happiness need not apply, but those content with mild entertainment should be satisfied.

Week 16

This week there isn’t that much of a Watched, Read & Listened To List this week kids… as I have been swamped

I did get a chance to start Simon Pegg’s auto biography which I have been trying to do for quite a while  which is a great thing. But hopefully I can get back to full steam next week.


On with the list…


All caps, bold: MOVIE
All caps: TV SERIES
All italics: Book
Quotation marks: “Play”
Italics, Quotation marks: “Short Story

GAME OF THRONES

BLACK BOOKS (12)

LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS

WATCHMEN

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

VEEP (2)

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

GET HARD

JOHN WICK

Nerd Do Well, Simon Pegg (p.1 – p.61)


“None of you seem to understand. I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with ME!”

S

Week 14

It’s that time again kids, this weeks Watched, Read & Listened To List.

This week I watched and read quite a bit of stuff….highlight of the week would have to sitting down to watch the Cornetto Trilogy back to back in all its glory.  For those of you who don’t know of the Cornetto Trilogy it is the love child of the fantastic Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, featuring ‘Shaun of The Dead‘, ‘Hot Fuzz‘ and ‘The Worlds End‘. Never watched it back to back before, and it was great to see all the links and homages within each film….and if I had to pick between each of these amazing Wright-Pegg love children….I’d have to go for Shaun of the Dead…guess I just got red on me..


Soundtrack of the week this week is from one of my favourite composers….Michael Giacchino with the award winning soundtrack for the 2009 Pixar film Up. This guy is such an amazingly talented composer…having two Grammy nominations in this year ‘Star Trek‘ and ‘Up’, with the latter winning. Two completely contrasting scores…and both deserving of the award!


On with the list…


All caps, bold: MOVIE
All caps: TV SERIES
All italics: Book
Quotation marks: “Play”
Italics, Quotation marks: “Short Story


ANIMAL HOUSE

ALADDIN

ENTOURAGE (40)

I AM BIG BIRD

THE INCREDIBLES

THE FOLLOWING (2)

MAD MAX

JACK ATTACK

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

SHAUN OF THE DEAD

HOT FUZZ

THE WORLDS END


Till next week I’ll leave you with this…..

“It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet….there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

S