“In Hector and the Search for Happiness, Simon Pegg plays a London-based psychiatrist who has a mini nervous breakdown, puts his relationship with his girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) on hold and sets off round the world to find the secret to happiness,” Hollywood Reporter critic Leslie Felperin notes. “Along the way, he makes new friends, meets up with old ones and has various adventures, all the while writing down his aphoristic insights — for example, ‘Listening is loving’ — in a notebook. The film manages, impressively, to be both crushingly banal and offensive in its use of cultural stereotypes. Watching it is like being brutally violated by a greeting card.
Pic is an adaptation of Francois Lelord’s best-selling novel of the same name. Felperin calls it “an irritating mashup of faux-naif narration and self-help pop thought that arguably deserves to be made into a film as bad as this.” The adapting culprits are director and co-writer Peter Chelsom (Hear My Song, Funny Bones, Town and Country, Hannah Montana: The Movie), German writer-director Maria von Heland (Big Girls Don’t Cry) and Tinker Lindsay (creative consultant on Hannah Montana).