Hector And The Search For Happiness (2014)
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Critic Reviews for Hector And The Search For Happiness
Hector may indeed learn that narcissism stands in the way of happiness, but he also walks away with his privileges intact and unchallenged.
A movie bearing as faux-naive a title as this has to make a pretty good case for itself. This it decidedly does not do.
Potential peeps out occasionally in Hector and the Search for Happiness, but then flounders and gets lost in a bland sea of sentimentality and cultural myopia.
While there's limited value in Hector's search for happiness and the dozen-plus "lessons" he learns about the emotional state, the film works nicely as a character piece.
This film is a winner. It will not only entertain you, but also make you think about what it takes to bring happiness into your own life.
Audience Reviews for Hector And The Search For Happiness
A sweet movie that is predictable.
So flippin' awesome! A stuck-in-a-rut psychiatrist is losing patience with his patients and finds that the problem is himself, so he embarks on a world tour to find the secret to happiness...with some selfish self-actualization along the way. The happy moments are indeed uplifting as hell, but Hector's unexpected imprisonment in a third world prison is truly harrowing and suspenseful. The little details are just marvelous: the Tintin parallels, Hector half-closing his eyes to match his botched passport photo, the papier-mache plane turbulence, Hector's perpetual lack of writing utensils figuring into his emancipation, and Clara's neuroticisms, "Is this conversation going as badly/well as I think it is?" Simon Pegg is absolutely darling as the mild-mannered though emotionally courageous Hector, and Rosamund Pike plays his put-upon yet supportive girlfriend with her trademark icy gutsiness. Ming Zhao (and her waterfall of hair) is riveting as Ying Li, Hector's one-night-one-day-stand, and it's a pity that there doesn't seem to be more substantive projects in development on her IMDb page.
A psychiatrist in a rut travels to find the key to happiness. Is it possible for a film to be trite, cliche, predictable, and effective? This film is all of those things. The resolution to the conflict is obvious from the beginning, and the individual act climaxes are obvious. And while the film doesn't offer any new wisdom about life, love, and happiness, that doesn't mean that its repetition of classic wisdom isn't heart-warming and effective. There are also factual errors in the film, which will bother the more logical and cerebral viewer. Special kudos go to Simon Pegg and Rosamund Pike who give wonderful performances. Overall, it's a lovely though unremarkable film.
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